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'We men do not own women nor do we own their bodies'

President Cyril Ramaphosa says the government has agreed the National Gender Summit should take place on 31 August.

President Cyril Ramaphosa delivers the keynote address on Women’s Day at the Mbekweni Rugby Stadium in Paarl in the Western Cape. Picture: Twitter/@SAgovnews

CAPE TOWN - Government will host its first Gender Summit at the end of the August this year.

Speaking at a Women’s Day event in Paarl, President Cyril Ramaphosa urged citizens to take part so as to help address gender violence and other issues facing the fairer sex.

Ramaphosa says the government has agreed that the National Gender Summit should take place on 31 August.

He says the aim of the summit is to effectively and urgently deal with the crisis of gender-based violence, discrimination against women and concerns around gender wage disparities.

“We men must get it into our heads that we do not own women nor do we own their bodies and that we should never seek to dominate women.”

Many people attending the Women’s Day celebrations have welcomed the summit but have also urged government to have tougher punishments for convicted abusers.

WATCH: President Cyril Ramaphosa's Women's Day address

Meanwhile, the president says that more women should become beneficiaries of land.

“The land should not only be parcelled out to men, we want the land reform process to be a mechanism through which we economically empower the women of our country.”

In his capacity as ANC president, Ramaphosa last week announced the party will push for the Constitution to be changed to allow for land expropriation without compensation, a move which has been strongly criticised by some quarters.

Additional reporting by Regan Thaw.

(Edited by Winnie Theletsane)