As South Africa gets ready to commemorate another National #WomensDay, one of the issues which might eclipse the annual event is last week’s hot-contested municipal elections.
National Women’s Day is celebrated annually on 9 August. This very day commemorates the 1956 march of approximately 20,000 women to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to petition against the country’s pass laws.
At that time [apartheid era], the pass laws required South Africans, dubbed ‘black’ under the Population Registration Act to move about with an internal passport, called a ‘pass’ when in town.
Significantly, the very internal passport was issued to blacks for maintenance of population segregation, management of migrant labour and control of urbanization.
It is worthy to note that the first National Women’s Day was celebrated on 9 August 1994; and since then, it became an annual event.
2016 National Women’s Day marks the 60th anniversary of the iconic 1956 march.
Zuma To Address Women On #WomensDay
President Jacob Zuma is expected to grace and address the National Women’s Day celebration event tomorrow at the Union Buildings in Pretoria.
However, in as much as Zuma will be addressing women tomorrow, many believe our honorable president could be haunted by his sexual ‘deal’ with a young woman – Khwezi.
Khwezi is a nickname given to a woman who accused Zuma of raping her about 10 years ago. Zuma was acquitted in court; even though he admitted to sleeping with the young woman. The president rather argued that the ‘act’ was consensual.
Ahead of the event; veteran of the 1956 Women’s March, Sophia Williams-de Bruyn, has disclosed that she will lay wreaths at the graves of her comrades at Avalon Cemetery in Soweto today.
The comrades include: Helen Joseph and Lillian Ngoyi. In addition, a visit will also be paid to the Newclare Cemetery where struggle stalwarts Rahima Moosa and Albertina Sisulu are resting.
Bruyn said she would crown the event with a meeting with young leaders at Museum Africa in Newtown, Johannesburg, to commemorate the march on Saturday.
In commemoration of the National #WomensDay, media reports have shown that the persistence of gender inequality accounts for the high rates of violence against women.
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More so, patriarchy has brought some women and girls into believing that it is ‘natural’ for men to have power over them – costing most women a lot.
Therefore, the eradication of an unjust socio-economic disparity between men and women can never be underestimated, especially in families, which is the first place where boys and girls are taught that men and women are unequal.