Poll: Is the EFF a feminist party?
The EFF sparked debate on social media over its feminist identity, following a statement made by Fees Must Fall activist Naledi Chirwa on Twitter.
In her tweet, Chirwa referenced a quote which she credited to the party's deputy leader Floyd Shivambu: "The EFF is a feminist organisation and we are unapologetic about that."
"The EFF is a feminist organization and we are unapologetic about that." DP Floyd Shivambu— Naledi Chirwa (@NalediChirwa) June 23, 2019
Chirwa then stirred things up even more, saying that the EFF was the only party that has made "a bold assertion that feminist discourse and gender mainstreaming be absorbed from primary education".
It is the EFF and only the EFF that has made a bold assertion that feminist discourse and gender mainstreaming be absorbed from primary education. That both public and private entities have systems for reporting on GBV, implementing and protecting womxn's rights.— Naledi Chirwa (@NalediChirwa) June 24, 2019
Many, including feminist author and professor Pumla Dineo Gqola, refuted Chirwa's claims and highlighted the EFF's past treatment of female journalists and other previous acts that would not be considered feminist.
Naledi Chirwa arguing that EFF is a feminist organization and all the EFF men congregating in her comments to prove her otherwise 👡👡👡— Third Force (@naledimashishi) June 24, 2019
Ok, seriously, this is hilarious to me. A riot. No, it’s not. Does it have some of fiercest feminists in its leadership & members? Absolutely! But watch its public performances, press conferences, talking heads and tell me again. Feminist is as feminist acts. https://t.co/nK8faku1k9— Pumla Dineo Gqola, PhD (@feminist_rogue) June 23, 2019
Populism is dangerous, they now want to associate anything with feminism.— The Falcon (@Azanian_Product) June 24, 2019
N.B feminism is on the rise here in Afrika, new feminists organizations are being formed day in day out, the #EFF simply want to milk those feminists votes nothing much...Anything for the cheque. https://t.co/sYcuGD3CwY
TimesLIVE reported late last year that Tiso Blackstar political journalist Ranjeni Munusamy was attacked by three EFF men at a shopping store in Johannesburg. However, the party denied having anything to do with the attack.
In its defence, Chirwa and some of the party's supporters, said those who don't believe that the EFF is a feminist organisation only have themselves to blame for that perception.
"Everybody likes doing this; isolating feminists of EFF from EFF, yet using a few men's toxicity as an identity of EFF, she said.
Everybody likes doing this; isolating feminists of EFF from EFF, yet using a few men's toxicity as an identity of EFF. Our spectacle is pervasive. When you think of EFF you think of and only see the men. Not our manifesto, not the womxn, not the suspension of ALLEGED rapists 😊 https://t.co/wNMwrxdXvz— Naledi Chirwa (@NalediChirwa) June 24, 2019
But now you're making your inability to see the womxn an anxiety we should all carry. Cmsr Leigh-Ann Mathys is in the top 6. Cmsr Mandisa Mashego a chairperson of a province. Does you not seeing them have them cease being commissars? You chose to see the feminism of Dr Ndlozi.— Naledi Chirwa (@NalediChirwa) June 24, 2019
The EFF has many black radical feminists in its structures. We have them in our branch leadership, in all provincial structures, we have then in our CCT.— Nomampondomise✨ (@YolzYako) June 24, 2019
To want to quantify the bar of feminism based on who YOU know in the EFF is myopic.
So, could her claims be true?