2 August 2015
President Jacob Zuma will release South Africa’s first Status of Women Report as part of the Women’s Day celebration on 9th of August at Sasolburg, Free State. This year’s Women’s Month is taking place against the backdrop of the 60th anniversary of the Freedom Charter and the Women’s Charter in 2014. To commemorate these historic events more than 20 000 women spanning across the provinces will participate at a rally in Free State under the theme: “Women united in moving South Africa forward.”
Following the demise of apartheid, South Africa has moved towards the advancement of women empowerment and gender parity. This was affirmed at the recent Beijing +20 Country Report which highlighted South Africa’s human rights based legislative framework; the institutional mechanisms put in place to promote women’s human rights, dignity empowerment and gender equality; and the achievements in the representation of women in decision-making structures and processes, both in the public and private sectors.
Acting Cabinet spokesperson, Phumla Williams, said: . "Over the years great strides have been made to ensure that women enjoy the same rights as their male counterparts in relation to education, employment, property, inheritance and justice. Women now enjoy equal rights, as enshrined in the Constitution. South African women have taken their rightful place in parliament, government, the private sector and civil society.”
However, amidst the great achievements women still face some challenges such as remaining vulnerable to social risks such as violence, abuse, rape, unemployment and poverty. “Government is aware of the challenges and will continue in its endeavour to protect the democracy and women’s rights that were built on the actions of the women of the liberation movement. Government has put in place legislation and policies to create an enabling environment for women, and to improve their participation in income-generating activities in the economy.” said Williams.
Williams added that the promotion of gender equality and women’s empowerment is central to government’s efforts to combat poverty and stimulate sustainable development.
During the Month of August, a number of activities aimed at creating awareness and promoting understanding of women issues will be held throughout the country. The following websites will be updated with information on the activities taking place during Women’s Month: www.gov.za; www.gcis.gov.za; www.women.gov.za. Members of the media can also follow our Twitter account @GCISMedia, or @SANews for updates. Information will also be communicated through media advisories.
Government encourages business and civil society to work together to move women forward.
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Issued by: Government Communication and Information System (GCIS)