President Jacob Zuma will deliver a keynote address at the Women‘s Day celebrations to be held on Friday, 9 August 2013 at Thulamahashe Stadium, Bushbuckridge in Mpumalanga. This year’s celebrations marks the 57th anniversary of the 1956 Women’s Anti-pass march in South Africa and will be held under theme “A Centenary of Working Together towards Sustainable Women Empowerment and Gender Equality”.
On this day in 1956, more than 20 000 women marched against the discriminatory pass laws which had restricted the movement of black people in the country of birth. This year’s commemoration will focus on the role of women in achieving democracy in our country. In 1913, the apartheid government in the then Orange Free State declared that women living in the urban townships would be required to buy new permits each month in order enter towns. In response to this repressive practice, women organised massive demonstrations which ultimately led to the 1913 an anti-pass defiance campaign.
Significant progress has been made in the promotion of women empowerment and gender equality. Measures including Legislative framework have been introduced since 1994 to promote women empowerment and uphold gender equality. These have drastically improved the position and conditions of women in our country.
As part of government’s commitment to restore the identity and dignity of people, especially women, the new Smart ID machines were recently named after our struggle stalwarts, Sophie de Bruyn, Lillian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph and Rahima Moosa.” Government invites all South Africans to participate at organised events to celebrate progress made in the fight for the rights of women.