The Public Protector, Thuli Madonsela, said last Saturday that South Africans should learn from women’s rights activists Charlotte Maxeke, Olive Schreiner and Prof. Botman in tackling the challenge of inequality.
Madonsela was addressing the audience made up of female students and staff of the University of Stellenbosch as part of celebrating Women’s Month and the legacy of the university’s late Rector and Vice Chancellor, Prof. Russell Botman.
“South Africa is one of the most unequal societies in the world despite the constitutional promises which include the substantive notion of equality, Public Protector,” said Advocate Thuli Madonsela.
“Compounding the situation is that racial, gender, discrimination, poverty and unemployment have worsened,” said Madonsela.
Madonsela said that the three leaders were able to make a difference through visionary leadership, resolute commitment to justice, deep sense of compassion, courage, transcending talk and inspiring a critical mass.
She urged the audience to play their part in emulation of the three leaders and reasoned that for as long as there was injustice somewhere, the country and the world could not have peace.
“We may not be paragons of non-discrimination as that is impossible, given that we are products of a society where the hierachisation of difference is entrenched through socialisation from birth.”
“All we need to do is play our part in our respective spaces as earnestly as possible.”
She said that today is better than yesterday and women are better off than Schreiner, Maxeke and the 1956 marchers.