Issued by Mrs Thandi Nontenja UDEMWO Secretary General

At the end of Women’s Month 2014, we look to the future; the United Democratic Women’s Organisation (UDEMWO) is worried that the National Development Plan is overall gender blind, disregarding women’s gendered practical, and strategic needs and concerns.

Considering that this is the development map for South Africa we are dissatisfied with what our future prospects are. In addition, UDEMWO is doubtful that the sideways-move, to bring the Department of Women under the President’s roof, has any meaning. Since the establishment of this portfolio we have seen nothing but a waste of time and money.

This is just another attempt at window dressing. Regarding the minister, after listening to Susan Shabangu’s statements at the Marikana Commission we are unconvinced that she is the right person for the job. Such insensitivity shown by a woman is beyond belief and a slap in the face of a community – especially the women and children – that is suffering.

On behalf of women across the country, we ask President Zuma to clarify what the tangible outcomes are of his move. It is of no use to pay lip service to women’s empowerment. Being over 50% of our people, women must take their rightful place in our society and economy, and be given the power they deserve.