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Women in power not doing enough to address patriarchy - activists

Activits say women need more spaces in which they can discuss their challenges without being attacked.

Four female EFF members holding placards in front of the stage as President Jacob Zuma delivers his address at the IEC national results centre in Pretoria. The placards refer to the woman named "Khwezi" who accused Zuma of rape in 2005. Picture: Masa Kekana/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - The One in Nine Campaign says women in positions of power are not doing enough to address issues of patriarchy and misogyny that infringe on women's rights.

The organisation says the treatment of four young women, who held a silent protest during the announcement of the municipal election results at the weekend, is an indication of how South Africans are not willing to address women's issues.

Today the country celebrates Women's Day, which some activists say isn't doing enough to bring change in women's lives.

Shortly after President Jacob Zuma's speech on Saturday night, the four young activists were forcefully removed for staging a silent protest in solidarity with the woman who accused him of rape in 2006.

The incident has put particular focus on the African National Women's League, which has accused the protestors of being part of a political ploy and disrespecting the president.

The One in Nine Campaign's Mpumi Mathabela says the backlash the four women have been subjected to is an example of how many would rather attack female activists than pay attention to the issues they raise.

"We're not even engaging or shifting anything. A lot of voices that we've heard have done exactly that."

The organisation says South African women need more spaces in which they can discuss their challenges without being attacked.

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