Month to celebrate women empowerment, equality

Thursday, August 1, 2013

Pretoria – As South Africa marks the start of Women’s Month, government says it is inspired by all patriotic women who took up the fight for gender equality and freedom.

This year's theme for the Women’s Month is “A Centenary of Working Together towards Sustainable Women Empowerment and Gender Equality”.

Acting Government Communications and Information System CEO, Phumla Williams, said: “Our Constitution recognises women as equal citizens, with equal rights and responsibilities. We are inspired by all patriotic women who took up the fight for gender equality and freedom.”

The first day of Women’s Month will be marked by the Department of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs hosting the conference that will focus on women in local government.

The focus for this year will also be on the impact of the 1913 Natives Land Act, as well as programmes and projects to accelerate women’s access to land. During the centenary commemorations of the 1913 Natives Land Act, government will advocate that more land be allocated to women.

Government will ensure that the campaign includes young women and women with disabilities.

Since the dawn of democracy in 1994, government has made significant progress in empowering women in the spheres of politics, the public sector and education as well as the economy. Government will host a variety of events to commemorate its achievement and dialogue with women on opportunities and challenges facing them.

Women’s Day 2013 will be held at Thulamahashe in Bushbuckrigde. Other prominent events will include the annual Women in Science awards hosted by the Department of Science and Technology.

The Department of Health will host a dialogue with young women on sexual and reproductive health and rights and teenage pregnancy.

The Department of Basic Education will highlight their flagship project of Techno Girls which anchors young girls into studying science and following science related careers. An alumni function will be held with girls who have benefitted from the programme.

Various roundtables will be held by the Department of Trade and Industry and Public Works with women in various sectors including business and the building and construction industry.

South African Women in Law will host their annual program that aims to promote the role of women in the law fraternity.

The Department of Home Affairs has honoured the women who led the march by naming the four machines that will produce smart ID cards after four women who participated in the now famous event.

As government engages with women from all walks of life during this month, Williams said government called on all citizens to prioritise the empowerment of women across the board.

"We commemorate Women's Month mindful of the growing scourge of child and women abuse. Government continues its fight against acts of crime as we have seen recently with the speed with which the police moved in apprehending those who seem set on inflicting harm on our sisters and mothers," said Williams.

For information on various government events on Women’s Month visit www.gov.za. – SAnews.gov.za

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