National 9.8.2016 10:33 am

Cosatu salutes SA women on march’s diamond anniversary

Cosatu House | Picture: Twitter

Cosatu House | Picture: Twitter

Cosatu said one of their main aims was to ensure that working women were free from super exploitation, pitiful wages and sexual exploitation.

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) on Tuesday saluted the women who participated in the historic Women’s March of August 9, 1956 to the Union Buildings in Pretoria, where they intended to present a petition against the carrying of passes.

“The women of 1956 fought against immeasurable odds to organise themselves for this historic march, and to voice their demands for their dignity and that of the oppressed black majority, including the abolition of the hated pass laws,” said Cosatu in a statement marking Women’s Day.

“In the same vein, we salute the women of our generation, who continue to carry the torch forward, including those that can be found in the ranks of our liberation movement, our labour movement and in our vanguard party. These women continue to push for substantive equality and the advancement of the working class revolution.

“As we mark the importance of this day, we want to encourage all our members and our alliance partners to keep pushing forward to a goal of a society that is completely devoid of gender inequality and gender based violence. We urge our members to remain united in their quest to transform our society in terms of race, class and gender.

“One of our main aims is to ensure that working women are free from super exploitation in the form of lock-ins during working hours; from the pitiful wages that are reserved for women workers; and from sexual exploitation in the form of jobs and promotions for sex,” said Cosatu.

The trade union federation said it was deplorable that there were still women who could not access maternity benefits and family responsibility leave in South Africa. It said it was still committed to the fight against labour brokers, which it said affects young workers, in particular young women.

“The working conditions in sectors and companies that use labour-broking continue to be feudal and comparable only to slavery. Workers do not enjoy leave, medical and retirement benefits under this barbaric form of employment.”

Cosatu said it would continue to work with progressive forces to get a “living wage” and the improvement of the social wage for the benefit of all women, including those in the informal economy and unemployed.

“We will continue writing women workers history, documenting the stories of the women workers and striving for a workplace that is free from all kinds of discrimination, especially discrimination against the LGBTI (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex) and the workers living with disability,” said Cosatu.

“We wish all the women of our country a happy Women’s Day ,and vow to continue with our programmes that address the inequalities and remnants of oppression that continue to afflict many of our sisters, mothers and women comrades for the benefit of the whole nation.”

African News Agency

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