South Africa commemorates Women’s Month in August as a tribute to the 20 000 women who marched to the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956 in protest against the extension of Pass Laws to women. The Government of South Africa declared August women’s month and 9 August is celebrated annually as Women’s Day. The day also marks a call to action for accelerating gender equality.

We commemorate the day by celebrating the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of the brave women in our society. There is increasing recognition that women’s rights affect us all, and that we need to strive for more female representation at all levels of society.

What does women’s day mean for us?

  • An end to gender violence
  • Body autonomy and freedom of choice for all women
  • Labour rights and equal pay for equal work
  • Environmental justice, and recognition of its links with social inequality
  • Ending racism

How can you support women’s day – or women’s month in your community?

Promote gender diversity in the workplace

To create sustainable and healthful economies we must encourage women to break down barriers. No matter what industry you are in, you can implement policies to fight gender discrimination and encourage diversity in your business. An overwhelming majority of women are concentrated in low-paid, lower-skill or domestic occupations. If you are a professional, consider volunteering as a mentor for a younger person in your field. Or put yourself forward as a speaker and share your knowledge.

Donate to your local women’s shelter

Escaping an abusive domestic situation can be extremely difficult, and women’s sanctuaries are an essential lifeline for women and children who need to leave. Without these services more lives would be lost. But women’s refuges are also in dire need of financial support.

Celebrate Women’s Day by giving to your local shelter. Every financial donation counts, no matter how small. If you cannot make a monetary contribution, consider giving your time. The Department of Justice lists a database of women’s shelters here

Do something kind for a woman you love

Whether it’s your mother, grandmother, sister, daughter, girlfriend, or a female friend, celebrate Women’s Day by making her feel special. Send flowers, write a card, give a small gift, or take her out for lunch. It doesn’t matter if you’re a man or woman; we can all show our gratitude and love for the women around us.

Here is a list of books by inspiring women

We wish you a peaceful and beautiful women’s month!

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