Today marks the 63rd anniversary of approximately 20,000 fearless women who marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria in defiance of the apartheid pass laws and demand for women’s rights to be recognised.
The country acknowledges the 9th of August as a day to celebrate women, to reflect on women’s struggles and to highlight their victories and contributions to the fight for equal human rights.
The month of August is rightfully dedicated to women, and we salute women’s contribution to our great freedom and democracy. We must celebrate, lest we forget the formidable women who risked their lives for the freedom we enjoy today. As we celebrate those who came before us, we also celebrate those who stand beside us now, and those who will come after.
Celebrating Women’s day remains a significant time in our calendar as we recognise how far we have come towards gender equality. With effective legislative initiatives to promote and protect gender equality, there is still an absence of equal opportunities for both men and women.
We have come a long way in recognising women’s rights, as a country, the continent and the world. Gone are the days when women were banned to vote, today we celebrate the inclusion of women to take lead and become Presidents of their own countries. Gone are the days of restrictions on where we worked, today we celebrate women who are managing their own successful businesses. Indeed, we have come a long way but we still don’t have complete equality.
As we celebrate this progress we must intensify the fight for tougher gender-based violence laws, public awareness and access to legal protections for all women, especially the poor. Wathint’umfazi, Wathint’imbokodo!
Happy Women’s Day!
Happy Women’s Month!