equality is a critical component of the United Nations
Resolution on human rights (resolution 1325). Women are
subjected to a variety of barriers that determine their
organisational experiences, and therefore the achievement of
gender equity requires the elimination of patriarchal
practices, stereotypes and attitudes that perpetuate their
Lt Gen Msimang giving an
opening speech at the Women's Indaba
On the 17
April 1954, fourteen months before the freedom charter was
adopted in Kliptown (Soweto Johannesburg) on 16 June 1955,
the Federation of South African Women (FSAW) adopted the
women’s Charter. In one of the largest demonstrations staged
in this country’s history, about 10 000 to 20 000 women of
all races marched to Pretoria’s Union Buildings to present a
petition against the carrying of passes and permits by women
to the Prime Minister J.G. Strijdom, 9 August 1956.
against the pass laws was organised by the FSAW challenging
the idea that a women’s place ‘is in the kitchen’, declaring
it instead to be everywhere’. This was to send a public
message that they would not be intimidated and silenced by
unjust laws. The petition was handed over to the secretary
of the prime minister, which was followed by a freedom song
‘wathint’abafazi, wathint’ imbokodo (you strike a women, you
strike a rock)
Maj Gen Malinga
delivering his speech on Women's day at the Women's Indaba
celebration of Women’s Day, the South African Air Force
(SAAF) hosts an event called Women Indaba every year, this
year’s theme being: Inspired Empowered To Enhance and
Advocate Change in the SAAF, this being inspired by the
White Paper on defence of 1996, which clearly illustrates
that women are accommodated in the new South African
National Defence Force (SANDF), and it further stipulates
that women should not be restricted to support elements, but
also have the opportunity to join any combat corps and
participate in operations.
In his welcoming speech Chief of the SAAF Lt Gen F.Z.
Msimang at the SAAF’s Women Indaba said that “it is you and
I as members of the wider SAAF community who have to stand
up and be counted, to ensure that we have a united and
cohesive approach towards achieving gender equality and
ensuring that all women have equal opportunities in all
facets of the SAAF”.
Lt Col Seloane
delivering a sexual harassment pledge
In 2008 the
SAAF adopted a proposal to institutionalize Transformation
Management. Thus far the SAAF have female Brig Gen’s on the
Air Force Command Council (AFCC); Brig Gen M.M. Visser,
Director Corporate Staff Services (DCSS), Brig Gen Y.J.
Mavumbe, Director Transformation Management (DTM), Brig Gen
J.C.M. Hartley, Director Air Capability Plans (DTA), and
Brig Gen P.N. More, Director Operational Support and
Intelligence Systems (D Ops Supp & Int S).
Amn Mlenzana resiting a
poem in celebration of Women's day
further urged everyone to take time this month to reflect on
the advances made by women and also recommit ourselves to
address the challenges faced by women in the SAAF as well as
in the broader society in order to create a non-sexist and
to the population and gender bar graph uniformed female
members in the SAAF are not more than 21% that shows that
males are still dominant in numbers than females in 20 years
Deputy Chief of the SAAF Maj Gen G. Malinga said that “women
are not necessarily different species from man, but due to
our cultures we still find it hard to accept change. “Be the
change you want to see, as women, individual and a
collective”, he said.
Brig Gen T.
Mohale, Director Equity Strategy and Direction said that
“transformation is a broad concept embedded in all spheres
of life, a continuous improvement of the way we do
businesses. The Women’s Charter laid a sound foundation for
effective equality, and development of women. The freedom in
1994 ushered a new era in the historical legacy of women’s
struggle committing to the recognition of human rights”.
Looking at the SAAF
achievements in the 20 years of democracy:
• 29 Female Pilots
• 10 Female Engineers
• 336 Female Technical Personnel
Source: Brig Gen T. Mohale
Source: Brig Gen T. Mohale
Lt Col A.A.P.
Seloane SO1 Equity Strategic Direction, in closing of the
event read a Sexual Harassment Pledge, a pledge to ensure
women’s safety, a pledge as men they hope to have signed and
made official for all men in the SAAF to take in order to
protect women in the SAAF.