1 August 2013
South Africa marked the start of Women’s Month on Thursday, with the government set to host a variety of events to celebrate women’s achievements in the country, along with dialogues on the opportunities and challenges facing women today.
The national Women’s Day event will be held at Thulamahashe in Bushbuckridge, Mpumalanga province on Friday, 9 August.
The Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs kicked off the month by hosting a conference focusing on women in local government.
The Department of Science and Technology will be hosting the annual Women in Science awards, while the Department of Health will be hosting a dialogue with young women on teenage pregnancy and sexual and reproductive health and rights.
The Department of Basic Education will highlight their flagship Techno Girls project, which encourages girls to study science and follow science-related careers. An alumni function will be held with girls who have benefited from the programme.
Various roundtables will be held by the departments of Trade and Industry and Public Works with business women in various sectors including the construction industry.
South African Women in Law will host their annual programme promoting the role of women in the law fraternity.
The Department of Home Affairs, meanwhile, has honoured the four women who led the 1956 Women’s March against apartheid’s pass laws by naming the four machines that will produce the country’s new smart ID cards after them.
“Our Constitution recognises women as equal citizens, with equal rights and responsibilities,” acting Government Communications and Information System CEO Phumla Williams said on Thursday. “We are inspired by all patriotic women who took up the fight for gender equality and freedom.”
Williams added that the country was marking Women’s Month “mindful of the growing scourge of child and women abuse.
“Government continues its fight against acts of crime as we have seen recently with the speed with which the police moved in apprehending those who seem set on inflicting harm on our sisters and mothers.”