As we reflect upon the past 16 years since the first launch of 16 days of
activism on no violence against women and children, the Inkatha Freedom
Party recommits and rededicates the entire IFP family to the course once
again. Redirecting the campaign to focus on all South Africans and
especially the male citizens of our country is a move that we warmly
We have repeatedly appealed in the past that violence against women and
children is not a curse that rears its ugly head only during the months of
November/December in our communities. The emphasis on 365 days of activities
on admonishing violence against women and children of our country is long
The yester-year socialisation of our communities, either formally or
informally, mostly during the beginning of formal schooling which started in
the past century, introduced and instilled a concept of women as objects.
Instilled a concept of women as sub ordinates. Instilled a concept of women
as unequal. The practice of certain jobs formally regarded as female jobs
became a norm.
Whilst in possession of the same qualifications and performing the same
duties, this concept of women insubordination justified the imbalances of
unequal remuneration based of gender differences. These somewhat deep-rooted
misconceptions of improper practices are what we have to deal with even at
this day age.
Those who have gone through music classes will know that music teachers
always maintain that it is far too difficult to root out a music note
wrongly taught, from ones system, than to put a new note correctly from the
Item no.5 of the statement of belief in the IFP constitution states that;
"We believe that an advanced culture of human rights protection must be
developed to redress not only old and well-known forms of abuse, but also to
prevent new forms of abuse of the people."
The IFP constitution goes on to state under aims and objectives; objective
no. 1,6 as;
"To strive towards the elimination from our society all forms of
discrimination based on race, origin, sex, colour or creed."
In the IFP we acknowledge that since the dawn of our democracy in 1994,
South Africa has come a long way in changing laws and policies to protect
women and children in efforts to combat gender-based violence. However, the
pride we draw from our constitutional, legislative and legal achievements
alone cannot change the minds and souls of people when they are imbued with
People's attitudes cannot only be changed by decrees. We need combined
concerted efforts of all relevant, interested, stakeholders for a
progressive transformation of society and the changing of attitudes and
practises to combat gender-based violence.
The Inkatha Freedom Party supports the road map outlined by the Hon.
Minister here today. The question is whether this will be accompanied by the
necessary will to fund it accordingly. Similar programmes have remained good
in paper before and never got implemented because of lack of the will to
Momentum needs to be built from grassroots levels and must filter to all
corners of our society. In particular men must reflect the fact that men and
women are equal. It is imperative that we all send a strong and unequivocal
message into society that any and all forms of violence against women and
children are unacceptable and criminal.
Speaking at UCT on 9th August 1998, IFP President made a call for; "a new
message to fill South Africa which speaks of renewed respect for the dignity
of women." He said, "The time has come to free women from the fear of
humiliation, pain and death, and to at last turn every victim into a
On behalf of the IFP, I repeat that call here today.
I thank you.