The 9th August 1956 was the turning point in the role of women in the struggle for freedom and society at large. Women throughout the country put their names on petitions indicating their anger and frustration at having their freedom of movement restricted by the hated official passes.
Image: Photograph of the 1956 protest, thousands of women, some carrying their children on their backs, hold their fists in the air/Rachel Eliza Griffiths.
The historic march marked the day that women from all walks of life became equal partners in the struggle for a non-racial and non-sexist South Africa. This year Women’s Month celebrates women achievers and their participation in the economy.
Speaking to 702's Azania Mosaka, Minister in the Presidency responsible for Women, Susan Shabangu, unpacked the themes that Women's Month focuses on this year.
Women’s Month 2015 is a build-up towards the 60th Anniversary of the Women’s March next year, and this year Shabangu says that the month is aimed at educating the nation about the role women played in the emancipation of South Africa from Apartheid.
Shabangu also addressed the progress that South Africa had made over the past 21 years regarding women's rights, and the role that women fill in society.
We have achieved, the mere fact of that we have the numbers we have today in Politics and women are in decision making and are law makers in their numbers - that's a reflection of progress... Precisely because we have more women as legislators, you now have laws which speak to women's challenges in our country.— Susan Shabangu, Minister in the Presidency responsible for Women
Shabangu carries on to unpack the many issues that she deals with in her portfolio, but she also highlights the key role that women could and should play in developing South Africa's economy.
Listen below to the entire discussion with Azania Mosaka below: