Land ownership has been identified by KwaZulu-Natal Premier, Nomusa Dube-Ncube, as one of the biggest game changers for the empowerment of women.
“When we speak of the empowerment of women, we must also speak about land. Women cannot be involved in property and construction without access to land.
“When there are discussions about land ownership, land restitution and resettlement, women are not always involved. Women should be involved all the time, especially when there are discussions about the ownership of land,” Dube-Ncube said.
The Premier made the call at the African Women Leadership Organisation (AWLO) Annual Conference, recently held in Umhlanga, north of Durban.
The conference was attended by prominent women leaders from business, government and other sectors from all over the continent.
Addressing delegates, Dube-Ncube challenged women to be involved today in their own economic emancipation in the same way that women up in yesteryear were central to the struggle for political freedom.
She said the gathering would “trigger the mobilisation of women all over Africa to join and lead their own liberation, which is the struggle for economic freedom”.
The Premier called on women leaders to take the responsibility of moulding the “new and African model citizen”, who does not resort to violence when angry.
“We also have a duty to bring up young girls who will be assertive and not aggressive. They must grow to support the struggles and successes of other women.
“We will not be able to achieve these objectives unless we place women at the centre. We make this not only as a statement of faith, but as a practical response to the need for the transformation of our society,” Dube-Ncube said.
The Premier said when she announced her Provincial Executive Council in August, six out of 10 Members of the Executive Council were women, and the Director-General is also a woman.
“The result is that for the first time in our history, our provincial Cabinet is 63% women. This is massive victory in a country where, for all intents and purposes, patriarchy and outdated stereotypes about women’s abilities exist.
“That it has taken 29 years for a woman to become a Premier of KwaZulu-Natal challenges us to ask ourselves ‘why’, when we know that women are already taking care of their own homes, children, businesses and the community,” Dube-Ncube said.