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Media Statement – Rural Women head to King Williams Town


5 August 2019


On Friday August 9, women from around the country will gather in King William\’s Town, Eastern Cape, to bear testimony about the gender oppression women suffer in areas governed by traditional authorities.

Under the banner of the Rural Women’s Assembly (RWA) and Inyanda Land Movement\’s Women’s Forum, rural women will on Friday gather for a Seminar Speak Out, and a protest demonstration through the streets of King William\’s Town.

The RWA and Inyanda Movement have for several years been engaged in a rural democracy campaign that seeks to challenge traditional leadership rule in rural areas . We are of the view that in a democratic South Africa, the conduct and practices of Traditional Leader are in most respects patriarchal and oppressive towards the rights of women.

The rights violations that women experience include depriving women from owning land, the lack of women’s participation in decision making processes, the continuation of a barbaric practice called ‘ukutwalwa’, where young girls are forcibly married off.

We are calling for all traditional leaders in their respective areas to recognize the right of women to fully access land as women are the ones mainly responsible for taking care of and feeding their families and in turn, feeding the nation through small-scale farming and agricultural projects.

We demand that women should have a right to own land, especially widows and single women who are always discriminated against because of their marital status.

Section 24 of the newly-passed Traditional Koi-San Leadership Bill that allows traditional leader to enter into agreements with government, municipalities and the private sector with respect to communal land will add to the oppression of women in rural areas.

On Friday, August 9, women from the different provinces will be sharing real life experiences and testimonies about how their rights are being violated under the traditional leadership system in their communities.

Government departments and Chapter 9 institutions will be invited to listen to these stories and make a commitment on how will they contribute to curbing these unlawful and unacceptable practises.

Details of the event, Friday August 2019: Women’s Day Protest and Seminar Speak Out
Venue: King Theatre Hall, 6 Maclean Square, King William’s Town (Opposite Post Office)
Women will gather at 9:00 am at the circle in front of the Post Office for picket protest until 10:00 am.

Thereafter they will proceed to the King Theatre Hall for a Seminar from 10:00 am until 1:00 pm, where women will share personal stories of their oppression under traditional rule.


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