Wednesday, October 05, 2005

We are in good international company

It seems as though the need to bare one's breasts to GET PEOPLE'S ATTENTION is quite useful to many of us around the world. It has come to a point, my friends, that women feel extremely motivated to stand up with tremendous courage to claim our rights in this world. I am honored to be in such powerful company. The Beat goes on.

Check out this article from South Africa

Protesters bare breasts for jobs

By Botho Molosankwe

Johannesburg motorists and pedestrians were treated to a mini-strip show
while on their way to work.

A group of women, some bare-breasted while others wore brassieres, protested
outside the offices of the Gauteng department of health in the city centre
on Tuesday morning.

Singing, jumping and raising placards, the women tried as much as they could
to attract attention on a busy Sauer Street.

Machinga kept telling the protesters to take off their clothes
While some passers-by looked horrified at what they saw, others, mostly men,
observed the women for some time with smiles on their faces.

The women were part of the group who had protested naked at the Union
Buildings on Women's Day in August.

They were aggrieved that they were being treated unfairly by the department
of health. The group claimed they had been promised jobs after volunteering
for three years at Masakhane, a company that specialises in hospital food
and linen in Rosslyn, Tshwane.

Waiver Machinga, the spokesperson for the group - who had his clothes on -
said that a few months ago, 25 of them were offered jobs, with the
department promising the rest of them they would be offered jobs if they
became available.

However, that never materialised, said Machinga.

'People cannot bully themselves into jobs'
On Monday, they spent the night outside the department's offices with the
hope of securing an appointment with Gauteng MEC for Health Gwen Ramokgopa.

Machinga, who kept telling the protesters to take off their clothes, said
they had staged the protest with the hope that Ramokgopa would put in
writing that, as soon the jobs became available, the volunteers would be
given preference.

Machinga said the reason for the nudity was because "if we do not draw
attention to ourselves, we will be ignored".

Ramokgopa's spokesperson Simon Zwane was surprised to learn there were
protesters outside the building requesting a meeting with the MEC. Zwane
pointed out that the volunteers were in no way attached to his department
and that no one had promised them jobs.

"As much as we sympathise with the protesters because of the high levels of
unemployment, people cannot bully themselves into jobs by protesting.

"There are procedures that have to be followed; we cannot just appoint
people because they are protesting," Zwane said.

Machinga said that two months ago, while at work, police had ordered them to
leave the Masakhane premises, with no reason given. He said he was hurt by
the action, especially after having worked for so long for nothing.

"After all those years, the thanks they gave us was to order us to leave,"
he said.

Zwane said the reason why volunteers were asked to stop was because the
department did not require permanent volunteers.

No one from the department of health addressed the group.


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