EFF Students Command’s statement on the Women’s Day celebration

The EFF Students Command out rightly rejects the celebration of Women’s Day as a holiday.
The EFF Students Command understands the historical connotations of the 9th of August and holds all
women who fought during the struggle with the highest regard. However, as a society we cannot
continue allocating a day or a month to recognise and celebrate women when the highest forms of
violence against humans are meted out on them for the other 364 days of the year.

It is no secret that South Africa is an extremely patriarchal society and those that speak out against this

antiwomen society are labelled all sorts of names and always advised on when and how they must voice
their pain and anger by the very same people that oppress them.

It is a well-known and respectable fact that 60 years ago, women of this country laid down their lives so
we can have a South Africa where we all have dignity and are equal, amongst other things. It is however
another painful fact that the narrative behind Women’s Day celebrations entraps women’s role in
struggle to one single event. It is a painful fact that all those women who were there from day one and
championed the struggle have been written off the history books by the same people who claim to be
celebrating them today. It is also another painful fact that 60 years later, women are still second class
citizens in this country, susceptible to all kinds of violence and abuse.

The most recent display of how the public and the state really feels about women in this country was
poignantly displayed against the four fearless feminist warriors who risked everything to reignite the
conversation around women abuse, rape and the powerful men that get away with it through. The
manner in which the security of the President broke their silent protest was the most traumatising, so
were the reactions of the ANCWL and all other women who should have stood in support of such
bravery.

The direct silencing of black women and invalidating their plight and sweeping their pain under the
carpet has become a norm in this country. This act of silencing has also been done by the University of
the Western Cape by suspending and giving a R15000 fine to Gabriella Oliver for defending sexually
harassed worker. It is for this reason that young women, especially in institutions of higher learning do
not speak out after they have been sexually assaulted or raped.

The EFF Students Command therefore calls on all South Africans to reject neoliberal premature
celebrations that seek to give an impression all is well in this country and unite against patriarchy in all its manifestations.

The EFF Students Command further calls on all South African women to be at the forefront of this
struggle and continue driving the conversation without fear or favour as in one way or the other, we are
all Kwezi, we are all Gabby.