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David Mabuza on Women’s Rights


Author(s): Scott Douglas Jacobsen

Publication (Outlet/Website): Medium (Personal)

Publication Date (yyyy/mm/dd): 2018/10/25

David Mabuza, the deputy president of South Africa, talked about women. He wrote an article in News 24.

The parliamentary questions in recent weeks have noted the concern for women. Mabuza pointed to the ANC government emphasis on the “full emancipation of women.”

Mabuza described the patriarchal structures and sexism in society. The violent deaths of women by intimate partners. He asks a question from Katrine Marçal, who is a feminist writer.

In Adam Smith’s market fundamentalist text The Wealth of Nations, he asks: Who puts dinner on the table? Smith argues the “economic man.”

Mabuza thinks “our grandmothers, wives, sisters and the girl-child.” He points to childbearing by women and work in the home. That these drive the wealth of nations, “for free.”

Mabuza talks about the Women’s Charter, too, from 1954. It states that women stretch the dollar for the children, hear the children’s cries. That women bear the burden of caring for children.

The land too, when men are gone, are women’s domain. Mabuza points to the civilised and democratic nature of a society. That it relates to the social and economic liberation of women.

“It depends on how we empower women to demand their inherent rights to take the advantages,” Mabuza explained, “responsibilities and opportunities of a civilised society.”

Mabuza considers women paying the highest price far above any of us as mothers. “Freedoms we have earned freely on their unpaid labour,” he notes.

In his opinion, we need to view women as special. That women are complete human beings ans treated and respected as such.

In the South African Constitution, it says, “Human dignity, the achievement of equality and the advancement of human rights and freedoms.”

Though “racial hatred and discrimination, sexism and patriarchy,” are present, we can develop. The Constitution, according to Mabuza, provides that basis.

Any discrimination and violence against women violates the spirit of the Constitution. Mabuza sees violence against women as a violation against the founding principles of South Africa.

He said, “A nation that undermines the aspirations of women and oppresses them can have no peace, no social cohesion and no development.”

He points to the extreme prejudice against black women based on class, gender, and race. Mabuza points to the “omnipresent [patriarchy] in our language, idioms, metaphors, stories, myths and performances.”

Mabuza argues that we have to make internal changes, to our individual selves. Those changes helping free women from sexism and oppression, and discrimination.

However those biases come packaged, individual alterations can help with women’s emancipation. That radical revolution comes with the emancipation of women through individual change.

He notes the ANC is for gender parity “as a precondition of the economic freedom in our lifetime.” He describes how men are “absconding from parental responsibility, yet are available for power, leadership and economic opportunities.”

How do we close that gap, reduce those biases unbalanced benefits? He states women have to work and make a home together. Mabuza argues for a reordering of social relations in order for equality, parity.

One “that castrates the power, income and class of men from having an overriding influence on women’s choice of sexual partners.”

Mabuza considers this the foundation of a society with mutual respect and equality.


In-Sight Publishing by Scott Douglas Jacobsen is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License. Based on a work at


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