Source: BD Live
THE Commission for Gender Equality has become the latest institution to receive a complaint over the use of women's underwear in a protest by the South African Democratic Teachers' Union (Sadtu) last week. During Sadtu's march to the Union Buildings last week, protesters displayed a pair of over-sized panties emblazoned with the name of Basic Education Minister Angie Motshekga.
This was part of Sadtu's campaign for, among other things, Ms Motshekga to be dismissed. Sadtu gave the Presidency three weeks to respond to its grievances.
The African National Congress Women's League in Limpopo on Sunday announced they would approach the Equality Court over the underwear saga.
"We are ... disappointed in those who are supposed to teach our children about sexual violence and gender discrimination, but opt to promote it in our streets," the league's provincial secretary, Maleke Mokganyetsi, said.
On Monday Ms Motshekga, in an open letter addressed to Sadtu, the Commission for Gender Equality and the Congress of South African Trade Unions, said "there can be no debate that the display of a woman's underwear, as part of the trade union protest paraphernalia is unacceptable and can only fuel patriarchal prejudices in an environment that is already volatile for women".
Sadtu spokeswoman Nomusa Cembi said on Monday the union had not seen Ms Motshekga's letter, but condemned the actions of some of the protesters.
Last week Sadtu general secretary Mugwena Maluleke said the union did not condone the act. "Sadtu is a nonsexist organisation that seeks to promote equity and equality," Mr Maluleke said.
"As we condemn this act, we would urge government not to shift its focus from the real issues," he said.
Commission for Gender Equality spokesman Javu Baloyi said the commission would issue a statement once the investigation was concluded.