n Law, Democracy & Development - Women's rights in human rights systems : past, present and future




I thank you for this homecoming invitation that truly honours me. I am delighted to give the Dullah Omar Memorial Lecture on the topic 'The Agenda for the Promotion of the Rights of Women in the Next Decade'. Dullah Omar's leadership and commitment to democracy and human rights have greatly helped to sustain and realise the dreams of generations of South Africans. It is indeed heartwarming to know that new generations will continue to be schooled in, and motivated by, his example and wisdom.

I had the privilege to know Dullah Omar personally and retain both a deep admiration for, and fond memories of, him. One is particularly endearing to me. It concerns a stroll that he and I, returning from Robben Island, took together. At one point we stopped in front of the market stall that his wife was running. He confessed that his wife's business brought home more money than his law practice. This was somewhat unsurprising on two counts: the first stemmed from the resourcefulness and business acumen of his wife; the second depended on the fact that a significant portion of Dullah Omar's work was devoted to the poor, as well as impecunious anti-apartheid activists. I cannot forget the pride and love that made him rhapsodise about the leadership of his spouse.


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