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Little signs of unity between parties at Parly Women’s Day debate

Minister Shabangu accused the DA of reversing women’s gains by sending only 10 delegates to the event.

Minister of Women in the Presidency Susan Shabangu. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - Sniping between parties and jibes today marked a fractious Women's Day debate in Parliament.

The joint sitting was called to commemorate the 20,000 women who came together in 1956 to protest against the pass laws.

There were little signs of unity this afternoon as presiding officers tried to keep order.

Minister for Women Affairs Susan Shabangu accused the Democratic Alliance (DA) of reversing women's gains by sending only 10 provincial delegates to the official 9 August celebration at the Union Buildings.

"Western Cape in celebrating this only sent 10 women - that's a shame."

The DA's Zak Mbhele shot back.

"How would sending more women to a commemorative ceremony have advanced women's emancipation?"

The Economic Freedom Fighters, DA and Inkatha Freedom Party's honed in on the manhandling of the women who staged a silent protest during President Jacob Zuma's speech the day the local government elections results were announced, in honour of the woman known as Khwezi, whom he was acquitted of having raped.

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