Cosatu Secretary General Zwelinzima Vavi has been taken to task by the African National Congress for sexist comments ridiculing the notion of "gender parity" in the ruling party.
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'Vavi's sexist comments backwards'
Tue, 11 Dec 2007
The ANC expressed outrage on Monday over "sexist" comments made by Congress of SA Trade Unions secretary general Zwelinzima Vavi.
In a statement, the ANC's National Executive Committee (NEC) said Vavi had allegedly said men who supported gender parity were "legendary womanisers".
The NEC said Vavi appeared to be unaware that women at all levels of the membership had campaigned for gender parity.
He appeared to be further unaware that the ANC Policy Conference had adopted this policy and that all delegates, and not just a handful of male leaders, would have the opportunity to vote on this policy at the national conference, the NEC said.
It was purported that Vavi said men who supported the proposal for gender parity were "legendary womanisers who want the 50/50 representation so they can take advantage of the women they voted into power".
"[Vavi's] purported statement is not only based on ignorance, but exemplifies the worst and most backward aspects of sexism," the NEC said.
This exemplified considering all women as mindless beings who were easily manipulated, and incapable of rising to positions of political leadership without dispensing sexual favours.
"The statement insults all ANC members, men and women, and needs to be withdrawn; and an apology extended to all members of the ANC," the NEC said.
RESOLUTION OF THE ANC NATIONAL EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
10 December 2007
The National Executive Committee of the African National Congress has noted with outrage the reported comments of COSATU's General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi that men in the ANC who support the proposal for gender parity were "legendary womanisers who want the 50/50 representation so they can take advantage of the women they voted into power".
He appears to be unaware that women at all levels of the membership have campaigned for gender parity, the ANC Policy Conference has adopted this policy and that all delegates, and not just a handful of male leaders, will have the opportunity to vote on this policy at the National Conference.
The COSATU General Secretary's purported statement is not only based on ignorance, but exemplifies the worst and most backward aspects of sexism -namely considering all women as mindless beings easily manipulated, and incapable of rising to positions of political leadership without dispensing sexual favours.
The statement insults all ANC members, men and women, and needs to be withdrawn; and an apology extended to all members of the ANC.
Issued by: ANC National Executive Committee
More information: Smuts Ngonyama 082 994 2112
ANC STATEMENT ON PREPARATIONS FOR NATIONAL CONFERENCE
11 December 2007
The ANC National Executive Committee (NEC), which met in Ekurhuleni yesterday (10 December 2007), conducted a final review of preparations for the ANC 52nd National Conference.
The conference begins on Sunday 16 December 2007 at the University of Limpopo in Polokwane.
The meeting considered the political, organisational and financial reports it is required to present to conference, the programme and rules, and the logistical arrangements for what is the largest ANC conference to date.
The NEC reviewed the draft of the Secretary General’s organisation report in detail, which covers the work and state of the organisation over the last five years. The report provides a record of the main programmes, activities and organisational developments since the last National Conference, in Stellenbosch in 2002. It also provides a critical analysis of the achievements, shortcomings, strengths and weaknesses of the organisation.
The report is expected, among others, to form the basis for commission discussions on organisational renewal, constitutional amendments and the ANC programme of action to 2012.
The NEC confirmed its confidence in the delegates to conference to rise to the challenge of charting a path for the movement for the next five years, to unite and strengthen the movement, and to adopt policies and programmes that make a real difference to the lives of all South Africans, particularly the poor. In this, conference delegates will be required to faithfully reflect the views of the general membership of the ANC.
Delegates will also need to demonstrate the discipline and commitment to this task that the structures who mandated them will expect. It is important that participants at conference, whether delegates, observers or guests, desist from any conduct that may be divisive, disruptive or otherwise deviate from the democratic traditions of the movement.
The conference rules, which will be adopted at the opening of conference, prohibit the display or distribution of material that is divisive or may promote factionalism. Conference participants may, therefore, not wear t-shirts or other clothing featuring any of the candidates for election to the NEC. This prohibition includes official ANC t-shirts produced for past election campaigns.
To ensure that delegates are able to exercise their democratic rights and responsibilities without interference, only accredited delegates, whose participation has been determined in accordance with the ANC constitution, will be allowed access to the conference precint and immediate surroundings.
The NEC received a report on the credentials for conference. Almost all of the 4,075 voting delegates have now registered. In addition, conference will also be attended by 450 non-voting ANC delegates, 135 observers from allied organisations, and 360 local and international guests.
The NEC endorsed the process being undertaken in the Free State, under the guidance of the Provincial Executive Committee (PEC) and the NEC deployees, to hold branch general meetings in three regions affected by a recent court case.
There will also be 200 support staff, over 1,000 service providers, and nearly 700 representatives of media organisations.
Work has been completed on the erection of the main conference structures, including the plenary venue, which seats 5,000 people; the dining area, which can serve 3,000 people at a time; and various structures for support services.
An inspection of all the residences has been completed, and these are ready for occupation by delegates, all of whom will be arriving during the course of Saturday.
All participants will receive their accreditation on Saturday 15 December at a registration centre that has been set up in an aircraft hangar at Polokwane International Airport. Only people who have pre-registered will be given accreditation.
The NEC emerged from its meeting confident that all political preparations and logistical arrangements are in place for a productive and successful conference, one which will stand the ANC in good stead as it advances to its centenary in 2012.
Issued by: African National Congress
More information: Smuts Ngonyama 082 994 2112 or Tiyani Rikhotso on 0798 79