SADTU joins the billions of voices across the globe in honouring and commemorating women’s struggles on International Women’s Day. #Women’s Rights are Human Rights.
The theme for 2023 is aligned with the priority theme for the upcoming 67th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW67), “Innovation and Technological Change and Education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of all women and girls.”
On this day we raise our collective voices to call for equality and justice for women in the face of discrimination, harassment, and their oppression in our societies and workplaces.
The digital divide that affects women disproportionately is man-made and must be ended now. Women are creators, innovators, entrepreneurs and we must celebrate them. The barriers that are put on the way of women to emerge as champions of the future must be overcome.
We can only address the socio-economic challenges causing unemployment, poverty and inequality by focusing on innovation and technology in education. This will also open up opportunities and liberate women who want to start their businesses to do.
We want to reiterate our commitment to use education and technology as the answer to eliminate obstacles that hold women’s progress in the workplace.
We need to attend to subject offerings and choice for the girl child and fight against any attempt to push them to the periphery by denying them access to technical subjects.
For the 2023 International Women’s Day theme to be realised, we call for the finalisation of the three-stream model in our schools which will allow learners wider choices to pursue technical, vocational and academic pathways.
We call on the department of education to work with businesses to build more laboratories and all other technical sites to assist our learners with practical experiences.
In South Africa only 13% of graduates leaving tertiary institutions with qualifications in science, technology, engineering and mathematic are women.
Our country and Africa as a region are still lagging behind in terms technological skills for the young in particular the girl child. While we have the department of science, technology and innovation under the department of higher education women still experience hurdles to access such skills and opportunities.
Even with the qualifications in relevant fields, women bear the brunt of these brutal economic systems that continue to exclude, oppress and exploit them. The colonial and apartheid legacies are stubborn to eradicate especially when the neoliberal policies are geared towards entrenching discrimination.
As we celebrate this day, we stand in solidarity with all women educators in our schools who fight against oppression and sexual harassment by their colleagues. We need to end gender-based discrimination against women in our institutions of learning and business.
The multinational corporations operating in our country do not take the laws of this country seriously and this must stop. Women are capable and must be included in the executive structures and boards in order to create an inclusive economy. We frown upon the denial of technology to women because it is the perpetuation of patriarchal dominance.
We assert that education is the answer; opportunities must be extended to women because they are not a favour but a human right.
We know that no power can change the direction of the world women’s movement for liberation. We stand with the women in Afghanistan who are waging the struggle for access to education and all human rights. As the 67th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW67) is taking place, remember the women and girls in Afghanistan. Remember the Palestinian people and in particular women and girls who live in fear from the brutality of the Israeli regime. We urge the session to unite against the killing of women and girl children in the world.
ISSUED BY: SADTU Secretariat
CONTACT: General Secretary, Mugwena Maluleke: 082 783 2968
Deputy General Secretary, Nkosana Dolopi: 082 709 5651
Secretariat Officer, Xolani Fakude: 071 355 1566
Media Officer, Nomusa Cembi: 082 719 5157