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NUMSA celebrates Woman’s Month with pupils from Villa Liza School

31 August 2017, Posted in Press Releases

The Gender structure of the National Union of Metalworkers of South Africa (NUMSA) spent the day at Villa Liza High School near Vosloorus in Ekurhuleni to celebrate Woman’s Month. The Regional leadership of the Gender structure interacted with learners from Grade 10-12 at the High School.

The leadership spent time talking to pupils about the significance of Women’s Month. Pupils were reminded of the courage of the women of 1956 who decided to unite and fight against the oppressive Apartheid regime. The learners heard for example how Lillian Ngoyi, a factory worker, led the march of over 20 000 women to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to protest against the Dompas.  Thandi Mvimbi the Regional Gender Chairperson urged young women to take inspiration from the previous generation. Mvimbi said,
“It was women who were members of the working class who led the struggle for liberation in South Africa. This generation must take the lead in finishing the fight for equality and freedom”

It’s been 61 years since that historic moment when women took the bold step to stand up against an authoritarian brutal regime. They proved that by working together they could defeat a common enemy. The crisis facing the working class today is that the brutality of the Capitalist system has replaced the brutal system of Apartheid. African women continue to be the most oppressed in the work environment. They are often victims of exploitation and low pay. To make matters worse, our society is in crisis because young girls and women are exposed to high levels of violent crime everyday.

NUMSA is committed to fighting Capitalism and the violent nature of masculinities that are pervasive in our society. We must defeat the Capitalist system and the patriarchy which employs men as agents of the oppression of women. We are using our militancy to protect and defend women and children against the epidemic of Gender Based Violence (GBV).

Pupils at Vila Liza learn in containers because construction of the classrooms has not been completed. The containers are hot and uncomfortable and are not conducive to a good learning environment. NUMSA pledged to put pressure on the Gauteng Department of Education to speed up construction of the school to ensure that the children of the working class are taught in a dignified environment. Thembile Livi, the Regional Gender Coordinator, assured pupils that the union would follow up on this issue and work with the school and its leadership to improve their learning conditions.

NUMSA also donated sanitary towels to learners at the school. The donation will go some way to easing the financial burden of the learners at the school most of whom come from impoverished homes because their parents are unemployed. Capitalism is responsible for high levels of inequality where three white men own all the wealth of the land, and extreme levels of poverty mean that millions of female learners are unable to afford sanitary towels. Often girls will rather not attend classes when they are menstruating because they simply can’t afford pads and sanitary towels.

NUMSA is fighting to create a socialist society where this kind of inequality will be eradicated. We are inspired by comrade Fidel Castro who said:
“There is often talk of human rights but it is also necessary to of the rights of humanity. Why should some people walk barefoot so that others can travel in luxurious cars? Why should some live for 35 years, whilst others live for 70 years? Why should some be miserably poor, so that others can be hugely rich? I speak on behalf of the children of the world who do not have a piece of bread. I speak on behalf of the sick who have no medicine, of those whose rights to life and human dignity have been denied”.

Aluta continua!
The struggle continues!
Issued by Phakamile Hlubi
NUMSA National Spokesperson Acting
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