National Women’s Month launched

Thursday, July 31, 2014

Pretoria – Minister in the Presidency responsible for Women, Susan Shabangu has launched the 2014 National Women’s Month programme, which will see the building of almost 2 000 houses in each province.

Speaking during the launch of Women's Month on Thursday, Minister Shabangu announced that the Department of Human Settlements will on 4 August 2014 launch its annual Women’s Built Project, where 1 956 houses will be built in each province.

“This will be done through a partnership between the department and sector stakeholders such as South African Women in Construction,” Minister Shabangu said.

The 2014 National Women’s Month programme marks the coming together of women from across the African continent and the Diaspora to launch one association, the Pan African Women’s Organisation.

The month-long programme, which kicks off on 1 August 2014, will be held under the theme “Celebrating the 60th Anniversary of the Women’s Charter and 20 Years of Freedom: Moving Women’s Agenda Forward!”

The sub-themes are:

• Equality – Recognising the need to address the historical imbalances between women and men in all spheres of life including the political, civic and social life.

• Non–discrimination and rights – Women’s rights are human rights and include rights to legal status, land, property, inheritance, dignity, and freedom of association.

• Socio-economic empowerment – A focus on women’s education, health, access to productive resources (land, credit, and employment, among others) and social infrastructure.

• Moving the women’s agenda forward – Reviewing progress made on women’s empowerment and gender equality over the 60-year period and charting the road map for women’s advancement, development and a better quality of life.

President Jacob Zuma will on 9 August 2014 deliver a keynote address during the National Women’s Day celebrations to be held in KwaZulu-Natal, where various South African artists will feature on the cultural programme, particularly to honour the resilience of women.

In the last 20 years of freedom, the democratic government declared 9 August as a Women’s Day to honour the role of women in the emancipation of South Africa. 

Minister Shabangu said August is a special month for both men and women.

 “On 9 August, we remember and celebrate the resilience and vanguard of our women in fighting institutional racism and apartheid oppression. This is not an ordinary public holiday - this is a day that has its roots in the committed and principled political activism of women who defied their personal circumstances to take up their rightful place in the struggle for freedom,” Minister Shabangu said.

Activities for the month

Other key highlights of the month will be the launch of a cell phone based application programme called MomConnect, which will register all pregnant women in the country to assist them through pregnancy and child birth.

The app will be launched by the Department of Health on 21 August 2014, and will allow communication between the department and pregnant women.

Arts and Culture Minister Nathi Mthethwa announced that a centre for remembrance for Sara Baartman will be built in the Eastern Cape. A Khoi woman, Baartman was taken from South Africa and then exhibited as a freak across Britain.

Minister Mthethwa said the story of the country’s liberation cannot be told without sharing the story of people like Sarah Baartman.

“... People must know them as they know other leaders of women, who contributed much earlier than the 1950s,” Minister Mthethwa said. – 

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