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Tutu Peace Lecture

Author: slande

At the 2nd Annual Desmond Tutu International Peace Lecture held at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) on Tuesday 2 October, South Africa’s former first lady, Graça Machel, urged South Africans to go back to basics in a bid to heal the nation.

​At the 2nd Annual Desmond Tutu International Peace Lecture held at the University of the Western Cape (UWC) on Tuesday 2 October, South Africa’s former first lady, Graça Machel, urged South Africans to go back to basics in a bid to heal the nation. 

She compared our nation to a beautiful house, with perfect architecture but with cracked walls. To rebuild the house, like society, she said it should start from the foundation. To develop this society Machel challenged South Africans to revisit their painful past to nurture a healed generation. 

The theme of this year’s lecture focused on Women, Democracy and Freedom. 

“In 18 years of freedom this nation did not revisit the emotional damage inflicted on men and women through apartheid. Parents in their 40s and 50s grew up in a disrupted family structure. Today they are trying to raise their children based on a family unit they themselves never knew. We are in pain, we are hurting and we are bleeding,” said Machel. 

“We should focus on society and, more importantly, the family unit where men, women and children can form a loving society. If not, women will continue being brutalized by men and men will continue to brutalize themselves by hurting women and children,” said Machel. 

Violence against women was another current plight Machel mentioned in her lecture. She said that the 16 days of activism is treated as a mere event for people to report and guard against women violence - instead society should be asking why there are thousands of cases of women and children being hurt and  dehumanized. 

“Despite 48% of South Africa’s workforce being women, equal pay does not always apply to them. Democratic principles are ignored in practise. Unemployment and poverty still hits African women the hardest,” said Machel. 
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