Sixty-year reminder

2016-08-10 06:00

SIXTY years ago on 9 August, 20 000 women from across South Africa marched on the Union Buildings in protest against the dehumanising pass laws. This march is regarded as one of the defining moments in the country's history of the struggle for liberation.

The aim was to present a petition with thousands of signatures on to the then prime minister, JG Strijdom -although he was not there the women sent a public message that they would not be intimidated and silenced by unjust laws.

The freedom song “You strike a woman , you strike a rock” has become the theme representing the courage and strength of South African women.

Brand South Africa's CEO, Kingsley Makhubela said: "As we commemorate National Women's Month this month, and Women's Day on 9 August, let us remember the brave women who strengthened South Africa's fight for liberation and a society based on equality, non-sexism and non-racism. Their strength and perseverance has been pivotal to the mainstreaming of gender issues in contemporary South Africa.

"Today our guiding framework to build an equitable country, the National Development Plan makes firm recommendations that the transformation of the economy should involve active participation and empowerment of women, and that the role of women as leaders in all sectors of society should be actively supported.

"It is time that all South Africans and all sectors of society come together to bring this vision of an equitable society to life. It is time that women are empowered to transcend the barriers imposed by their gender, race and class.

South Africa's growth and development depends on each of us and we will never achieve the fullest extent of our national potential if more than 50% of our population remains marginalised. We must all play our part," said Mr Makhubela.

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