We can’t ignore deafening cries of women for protection & justice – Ramaphosa
The president on Sunday said South Africans had an opportunity to build a country in which women’s right to dignity, security, safety and protection is non-negotiable.
JOHANNESBURG - President Cyril Ramaphosa on Sunday marked National Women’s Day by committing to broadening women’s economic participation. He said one of the most important ways to reduce the vulnerability of women to gender-based violence (GBV) was to enable them to become financially independent.
The president said South Africans had an opportunity to build a country in which women’s right to dignity, security, safety, and protection is non-negotiable.
“It cannot be that this Women’s Day is drenched in the tears of families who have lost their sisters, daughters, and mothers to violence perpetrated by men. This cannot continue,” Ramaphosa said. “We can no longer as a nation ignore the deafening cries of women and children for protection, for help and for justice”.
Ramaphosa said to give effect to government’s upliftment of women, South Africa joined Generation Equality - a global campaign to achieve gender equality by 2030.
He said that to tackle the scourge of GBV and femicide, the government would prioritise providing business opportunities to women-led firms.
“The first action is to expand the access of women to economic opportunity. We will do this, among other things, by setting aside 40% of public procurement for women-owned businesses,” Ramaphosa said.
National Women’s Day commemorates the 1956 march by about 20,000 women of all races to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to petition against the country’s then pass laws.
WATCH: National Women's Day address by President Cyril Ramaphosa