South Africa commemorates Women’s Month in August and celebrates Women's Day every year on the 9th of August.
Women’s Month takes place against a backdrop of an increase in the levels of violence and brutality against women and children in our society.
This year marks the 62nd Anniversary of the Women’s March to the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956. On that day up to 20 000 women of all races and class protested against the extension of Pass Laws, which had restricted the movement of black people in the country. The march was a turning point in the role of women in the struggle for freedom and our society at large.
The national celebrations will also include the National Dialogues on Violence against Women to help combat the continued scourge of violent attacks and abuse against women. The dialogues are a platform for deepening democracy whilst ensuring safer and crime-free communities especially for women and children.
On 9 August we will commemorate Women’s Day under the theme: “100 Years of Albertina Sisulu, Woman of Fortitude: Women United in Moving South Africa Forward”. This year’s commemoration takes on a special significance as it is the year of the “triple centenary”. South Africa celebrates the birth of struggle icon Mama Albertina Sisulu and Tata Nelson Mandela as well as the formation of the Bantu Women’s League.
The Mama Sisulu’s centenary celebration will form a core thrust of Women’s Month as we pay tribute to her and the many women leaders of her generation. Mama Sisulu was one of the organisers of the anti-pass Women’s March in 1956 and played a key role in its planning.
The South African Embassy will commemorate the Women’s Month and Day by creating awareness and promoting understanding of women issues and highlight the critical issues facing women of today, particularly the gender-based violence and the economic empowerment of women.
We wish all women a Happy Women’s Month.
Ambassador P I Malefane
South African Embassy in Ankara, Turkey