Confronting gender politics in political spaces

The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) Treasurer General, Leigh-Ann Mathys, Democratic Alliance (DA) KwaZulu-Natal provincial legislature member Mbali Ntuli and political analyst, Sithembile Mbete joined Eusebius McKaiser for a compelling discussion on gender in politics.

Ntuli explains that she has been exposed to violence, misogyny and patriarchy at an early age through her childhood but has never experienced this kind of repression in South African politics as a woman.

She adds that there is no space or support for women in politics.

I think that there is a double standard and you see it in the African National Congress (ANC) even now, where Dr. Makhosi Khoza is being disciplined yet her male counterparts who have been saying the same things have not faced the same wrath.

Mbali Ntuli, Democratic Alliance KwaZulu-Natal provincial legislature member

It just feels like being a woman in politics makes you an easier target in many ways says Ntuli. She goes on to say that there is a deep discomfort for women who are vocal in political spaces.

Read: The fight for women's rights should be a day-to-day commitment - expert

Mathys says although she hasn't been in politics for long, she believes the space needs to be transformed.

Mbete says men in politics are more dramatic and hysterical which is often overlooked compared to the scrutiny women have to deal with.

I think societal programming and socialisation of hearing women's voices in a particular way, a face that looks a certain way, are things that plague women, both political players as well those that speak on politics.

Sithembile Mbete, political

Mbete goes on to say that all political parties have serious blind spots and have very serious gender issues in relation for men and women.

Mathys says the EFF has committed to addressing gender issues so that they resonate with everyone.

We want a feminist movement to spring from the ground up.

Leigh-Ann Mathys, treasurer general, EFF

Take a listen to the full interview in the clip below:

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