Fair access to jobs for women, no to carpet interviews – Joe McGluwa

DA NWest PL says being forced to exchange sexual favours for jobs strips women of their dignity

Fair access to jobs for women, no to carpet interviews

14 August 2018

Honourable Speaker, today I rise on behalf of the Democratic Alliance to join the plight of so many women affected to poverty and abuse and unequal access to job opportunities.

We are particularly concerned about the fact that in the face of total destitution and deprivation, so many women are forced to exchange sexual favours and money in order to access job opportunities. This is corruption.

This horrific practice is now commonly referred to as carpet interviews, a practice that strips women of their dignity.

This is not consensual sex. This is coercion. The men that prey on these defenceless women deserve the same treatment and scorn as any other sexual offender. It is therefore crucial that whistle blowers, and those who report carpet interviews are protected and the perpetrators convicted by law.

Speaker, we cannot celebrate Women’s Month without remembering the traumatic double murder that took place at Stella High School earlier this year. Two young lives have been robbed of a future because of one senseless act of murder.

Two young lives have been robbed of a future because there was no one to protect them against someone they should have been able to trust. We will also not forget the two young ladies that were brutally murdered near Meiringspark in Matlosana while innocently walking home – robbed of a future and their lives.

Speaker, this brings us to the little three-year-old girl that was raped by a relative earlier this month in JB Marks Municipality. A little girl that will forever be scarred by this one senseless act of rape.

A little girl that will grow into a young woman not only remembering the physical agony of that day but also remembering the utter disillusionment when those she trusted to protect her, harmed her in the worst possible way.

When we mark Women’s Month, we recall the courage of the women who marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria in 1956 protesting the demeaning pass laws of the Apartheid regime.

Speaker, today we remind ourselves that the freedom we’re fortunate to live in would not be possible if it weren’t for these women’s selfless act of bravery.

We remind ourselves that the freedom we live in was bought at a price and that we should protect that freedom at all costs.

Let us, therefore, stand up and say no to gender-based violence. Let us say no to abuse in any form or shape. Let us say no to sex for jobs.

Let us become the protectors of the defenceless and fathers and mothers to those who need us most.

Speaker, we cannot claim true freedom for as long as women remain chained by patriarchy and joblessness. We cannot move forward until there is fair access to jobs for women who are the glue that hold our nation together.

When we talk about building one South Africa for all, we talk about building a prosperous nation where we are all treated with dignity free from joblessness, poverty and corruption.

I thank you.

Issued by Joe McGluwaDA North West Provincial Leader, 14 August 2018