Women’s Day has been celebrated in South Africa on 9 August since 1995, and is an official public holiday.
The day commemorates the 20000 women who marched on the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956, to protest the extension of Pass Laws to women, which controlled women even further and reduced them to passive beings, at the mercy of men.
This year the theme of Women’s Day is ‘Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights for an Equal Future’. The day draws attention to the issues African women face, such as parenting, domestic violence, unequal pay, and schooling.
The celebration of women on one day only has grown to all of August being celebrated as Women’s Month.
As the rights of women have grown, many local women have climbed up corporate, political, academic, and Government ladders. These are some of them:
#. Helen Zille: Former Mayor of Cape Town and Premier of the Western Cape.
#. Professor Thuli Madonsela: former Public Protector, and current Law Trust Chair for Social Justice Research at the University of Stellenbosch
#. Nicky Newton-King, the first woman to run the Johannesburg Stock Exchange.
#. Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town.
#. Dr Elmi Muller, organ transplant pioneer
#. Dr Mosadi Mahoko, award-winning plastic surgeon specialising in cleft lip and palate reconstruction surgery.
# Dr Glenda Gray, CEO and President of the SA Medical Research Council.
# Ministers Angela Thokozile Didiza, Maisie Angelina Motshekga, Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Thandi Ruth Modise, Barbara Dallas Creecy, Mmamoloko Kubayi, Dr Naledi Pandor, Maite Emily Nkoana-Mashabane, Patricia de Lille, Lindiwe Sisulu, in the SA Government.
Women are still not receiving equal pay in many professions and jobs, and it is time that this gender discrimination be put an end to. They also do not receive equal opportunities in employment, and career advancement.
Chris von Ulmenstein, WhaleTales Blog: www.whaletalesblog.com www.chrisvonulmenstein.com/blog Tel +27 082 55 11 323 Twitter:@Ulmenstein Facebook: Chris von Ulmenstein, My Cape Town Guide/Mein Kapstadt Guide, Instagram: @Chrissy_Ulmenstein @MyCapeTownGuide