SA called on to honour human rights

Monday, March 21, 2011

Pretoria - As the country commemorates Human Rights Day, the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) has called on South Africans to honour the milestones achieved since the dawn of the democratic era. 

Celebrated on 21 March, Human Rights Day is an annual event to remind South Africans of the suffering and loss of life that accompanied the struggle for human rights, as well as to celebrate the country's Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

This year's Human Rights Day is celebrated under the theme, "Working together to protect human dignity for all", as a way of calling on all South Africans to unite in the protection of human rights for people's dignity. 

The CGE said South Africans should use the day to remind themselves of the power of ordinary South Africans and let it be known that change can only come from the people.

The commission noted that there still remained many battles to be fought in post-apartheid South Africa, especially the struggles of equality for all. 

"Women in South Africa have made great strides, yet remain the most impoverished and disempowered members of South African society.

"The CGE continues this struggle for the rights of women through advocacy, public education and legal representation. Still, this fight cannot alone be won from Constitutional Hill and our various provincial offices," CGE said, adding that the Constitution of South Africa allows everyone the right to dignity and equality before the law.

The month of March has been designated as Human Rights Month in honour and commemoration of those heroes and heroines who laid a monumental foundation during the liberation struggle for a rights-based, democratic and just society. 

Many paid the ultimate price as they lost their lives when they were brutalised by the apartheid government.