CPS Summer School Update: Leadership, Cadreship and Membership Building; Roots of Patriarchy and Women Oppression

Communist Party of Swaziland

Saturday 25 December 2021:- Day 8 of the CPS Summer School, 24 December, dealt with questions on the quality of leadership needed in the revolution, as well as the type of cadres required in it.

The revolution demands selfless leaders to achieve democracy. Leaders must never put themselves above, and removed from, the movement of the oppressed masses. They must never think that the progress of the struggle will be impossible without them.

Delegates also emphasised on the necessity of principled unity within Party leadership and in the movement as a whole. However, leaders must be open to criticism. While there may be differences in the understanding of policy and ideological comprehension, this must not translate to divisions.

For the struggle to be intensified along the revolutionary line, the CPS has the task of developing quality cadres. CPS members at every level must painstakingly carry out the task of conscientising the oppressed masses. Every site must be a site for building and mobilising towards socialism.

The CPS must make known and constantly clarify its policies and ideological outlook. The Party’s guiding documents must be written in simple language, including the indigenous language understood by the majority.

The Party must continuously improve the quality of its activities such as the Summer and Winter schools, among others. The Party schools form part of key sources of cadre development.

With regards to developing firm and formidable layers of leadership in communities, the task again falls on the CPS. This task must be undertaken through working-class education, including practical activities which build self-confidence.

The Party must build firm and formidable layers of leadership inside and outside the Party, a process which must continue as the conditions of struggle also progress. Communist activists must be in the frontline in the formation of community councils, as per the Party’s directive.

Tracing the roots of patriarchy and women oppression is another factor discussed in the CPS Summer School. There can never be a revolution without women participation, and neither will there be real democracy without women emancipation. In a capitalistic order, women remain second-class citizens. In present Swaziland, women face the brunt of oppression.

The capitalist mode of production has not done away with patriarchy. Instead, it has reformed patriarchy for its own purposes, and deepened the oppression of women. For the capitalist system, particularly as it manifests itself in Swaziland, women are viewed as reproduction tools, a source of cheap labour, home keepers, goods to be bartered with between families through backward traditions such as lobola.

Swaziland’s political system continuously defends the rape and sexual harassment of women. Despite cosmetic changes to the country’s laws, women are often still unable to own property, including land, on their own.

The CPS has the task of conscientising the masses to the fact that women, just like men, can play all the roles and duties in society, that women emancipation is crucial for the collective advancement of the entire society.

There are various obstacles in society that hinder the development – political, economic, and otherwise – of women. The Party must thus support and strengthen women groups, units or councils meant for the development of women – in the context of the “Democracy Now” campaign – and work towards the formation of a national revolutionary women’s movement. Within the Party, women must be encouraged to take up more leading roles. It is through these practical activities, among others, that women leaders will develop and strengthen. The benefit in that regard will be the entire revolution.

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