Thursday, August 18, 2016

YCLSA Women`s Day Message
8 August 2016

The status of women up to now has been compared to that of a slave; women have been tied to the home, and only socialism can save them from this. They will only be completely emancipated when we change from small-scale individual farming to collective farming and collective working of the land. Vladimir Lenin

The Young Communist League of South Africa [uFasimba] celebrates women`s day which will be observed tomorrow, the 9th of August. We pay reverence to the class of 1956 who marched on this day to petition against legislation by the apartheid government that required Africans to carry a "dompass".

As the YCLSA we continue to draw inspiration from the brave 10 000 to over 20 000 women led by Lilian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Rahima Moosa, Sophie Williams and Frances Baard who marched to the Union Buildings, protesting against the Urban Areas Act and its amendments.

As the YCLSA on this Women's month we will intensify our campaign of persuading our government to provide free sanitary towels to working class women. We are well aware that many young women are humiliated on a daily basis due to the fact that they do not have access to sanitary towels. Many young girls miss many days of school because they don't have access to sanitary towels. We are elated that since we launched the campaign in 2005 many people have adopted it and are running with the campaign.

We will continue to engage with the Department of Social Department to intervene on this matter. If they can distribute condoms they can also distribute sanitary towels. If you go on many buildings, you will find that condoms are available for those who want to engage in protected sexual intercourse. To have sex is voluntary but a young woman having their period comes natural and involuntary.

As society we are faced with the daunting task of ensuring that future generations know about the women of all colours and different walks of life who united to challenge and fight against oppression. Their names must forever be etched in history books and serve as a lesson to future generation that through unity victory is possible.

While we celebrate this historic day we must pause and analyse with the aim of finding solutions to the hardship and social ills faced by women currently. As we celebrate this historic day is it very imperative that we celebrate the heroic struggle waged by women to bring about democracy in our country.

Women continue to be victims of unfair labour practices and unpaid reproductive work. Many women continue to be in sub-standard forms of employment like casual work, temporary work, part time and being exploited by labour brokers. Owners of the means of production continue to rake in huge profits made from exploiting working class women who are vulnerable and eager to feed their families.

As the YCLSA we will push for structural changes that are needed and those including access to funding for enterprise and co-operatives development. In our quest to build a non-sexist society we have not focused enough on building an economic system that values women, especially working class women.

Women remain highly vulnerable to infection with the HIV/AIDS virus. This is perpetuated by the economic dependence on their male counterparts. Other facts which contribute to this include lack of access to education, abject poverty, prostitution and rape.

As the YCLSA we pay respect and dip our red flag to many of our heroines both sung and unsung who through their selfless struggles, sacrificed their lives and took part in the struggle against brutal and exploitative apartheid capitalist government. As part of our struggle for women's emancipation and the struggle against patriarchy, we will heighten our work of organising women where they are , around the daily things that they do. We will continue to struggle for a non-sexist society that will ensure that women are safe from all forms of abuse and violence and have equal access to opportunities as men as part of struggle for socialism in our lifetime.

Issued by the YCLSA Media

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