Gender Respect Project 2013-2016

Aiming to help children and young people to understand, question and challenge gender inequality and violence.

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Some reflections on the death of Nelson Mandela speaking out on gender equality

I had the privilege of spending a year in South Africa, 1995/6, at the time of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the building of a multi-ethnic state. I heard Mandela speak in Cape Town at the opening of the third Session of Parliament. I quote:

“All of us, all South Africans are called upon to be builders and healers. The objectives of equality, non-racialism and non-sexism constitute the very essence of the new society we seek to build. We can neither heal nor build if the rich see the poor as hordes or irritants or the poor sit back and wait for charity.”

Just to make it absolutely clear that justice has to come before reconciliation…this is from his speech on South Africa’s Women’s Day 2007:

“Violence against women is a serious and escalating evil in our society. It is both a part of the subordination of women and a consequence of that inequality…Our anger should strengthen the resolve in all of us in combating violent crime and this includes those who abuse women. Criminals depend on people around them keeping silent. The time has come to speak out and expose the criminals.”


Heather Hunt  12.12.2013