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Women’s Day: Why we celebrate

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Women’s day in South Africa is widely celebrated, as it continues to reflect on the bold steps taken in the iconic 1956 Women’s March. The protest held over 20 000 women marching to the Union Buildings in Pretoria.

The protest was against legislation aimed at tightening the apartheid government’s control over the movement of black women in urban areas.

Tshwane Shutdown Traffic
Union Buildings, Pretoria – Photo: Flickr / Harald Thiele

65th anniversary of the 1954 Women’s Charter is commemorated

This year’s official Women’s Day government celebration will be, on 9 August in Vryburg, North West Province. Delivering the keynote address will be our President Cyril Ramaphosa.

It takes place alongside the 65th anniversary of the Founding Conference of the Federation of South African Women, which established the 1954 Women’s Charter.

The bill essentially called for a society where women do not form a society separate from men and therefore share in the problems and dialogues of society and join hands with men to remove social injustices.

SA government pledges a zero-tolerance approach to gender-based discrimination

This month is not limited to launching programmes for women. The government is encouraging media, businesses and civil society to reveal any gender inequalities as South Africa has a zero-tolerance approach to any gender-based discrimination.

“The government alone cannot lift up women because inequalities exist in all four corners of this country, this must be a collective effort. Women’s Month gives South Africa the space to showcase work that continues year-round in emancipating women and challenging inequalities with a united voice.”

-Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities; Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane

New theme and a new campaign for Women’s Month

The government has further launched a coherent topic for 2019; under the theme of 25 Years of Democracy: “Growing South Africa Together for Women’s Emancipation”.

“The theme is a call to South Africa to reflect on the country’s success in achieving gender equality, and mainstreaming the gender agenda across all sectors, from arts, sport, politics, economy, health, land ownership, entrepreneurship, and gender dynamics. The theme also calls on South Africans to break gender stereotypes and remove barriers that seek to serve misogynistic interests.”

-Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities; Ms Maite Nkoana-Mashabane

Let’s get social: #WHATWOMENWANT

The government has developed a mandate, to better serve women and not limiting this to Women’s Month only. The official hashtag #WHATWOMENWANT aims to get women talking about the real issues they face through traditional and social media platforms.

“The campaign seeks to get a diversity of voices to express their vision of an equal society, and one that does not discriminate on the basis of gender.

South Africans are encouraged to use this hashtag to introduce South Africa to inspirational women who are making a difference every day in their communities. The department calls on South Africa to celebrate our achievements and rejuvenate efforts to eliminate inequalities based on gender.”

-Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities

(Source: The South African)


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