Pretoria - President Jacob Zuma has praised the role played by women in ushering in democracy and defeating the apartheid regime.In his speech during the national Women's Day celebration at the Union Buildings, Zuma said the march of 1956 was not in vain and had laid the necessary foundation to take on the apartheid government."This morning we launched the women's living monument at the Lilian Ngoyi Square. A living symbol of the bravery and patriotism of South African women and a monument to their contribution to the liberation and democracy we achieved" he told thousands who had gathered in Pretoria.Historic achievements"Their march was not in vain. We recognise many others who dared oppose the apartheid government. We also recognise women who have contributed to building this country, the factory workers, domestic workers, farm workers, those who work on our roads and every other sphere."Zuma said it was through their achievements that government has policies and mechanisms in place to ensure that women prosper in the country and are not marginalised."It is because of their historic achievements that today government continues to work at improving the living conditions of households including those headed by women. They wanted a better life, the extension of basic services such as water, sanitation, electricity, education, health and other benefits," said Zuma.He admitted that government had not been able to ensure all corners of society have access to basic services but promised that government would continue to strive for the delivery of services."The struggle of women enabled the ushering in of freedom and democracy so that these services can be extended to all. Many women still live in difficult conditions. President Jacob Zuma during the Opening of Phase One of the Women's Living Heritage Monument on 2016 Women's Day. pic.twitter.com/1LhmEqLt8P— PresidencyZA (@PresidencyZA) August 9, 2016 'Women are still struggling'"Some communities are still waiting for water and electricity. Women are still struggling as they travel long distances to fetch water. It is for this reason that work is continuing to improve the lives of our people each day. Government will not rest until basic services reach all our people."Zuma added that women were still struggling to get employment. He said it can't only be the task of government to create the job opportunities. He said government would, however, do everything possible to ensure that an enabling ground exist for others to also create employment opportunities."We know too that women are troubled by unemployment. Work continues to improve the economic situation in the country through working together. The economic situation is difficult for us and the world at large but we will continue our efforts to improve the situation and create an environment where the private sector will create jobs," said Zuma.