Total emancipation of women must be a priority

Thursday, August 6, 2009

Johannesburg - The struggle for the total liberation of women must continue to receive priority by all citizens, says Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane. 

The Premier made the call, days before the nation celebrates the 53rd Women's Day, while tabling her Budget Vote on Wednesday.

"The struggle for the total emancipation of women must continue to receive priority by the entire society and not be left to women's organisations," she said.

South Africa, she said, has made great strides as a country to safeguard and promote the interest of women. "The establishment of institutions such as the Gender Commission and the Ministry for Women, Youth, Children and People with disabilities points to this fact," she said.

However, Ms Mokonyane added that much more needed to be done since women still constitute the biggest number of the unemployed. According to the Premier, women were the hardest hit by poverty. 

"Women are violated almost everyday under our watchful eye. A girl child is constantly abused and her innocence destroyed by those she trusts.

"It is for this reason that when we observe and celebrate women's month we must be conscious of the difficulties that women face," she said. 

On 9 August South African's will celebrate and commemorate the struggle of women for a free, non-racial and non-sexist country. 

The day marks the 53rd anniversary of the 1956 march by women of all races to the Union Buildings in protest against the oppressive apartheid laws. 

The historic march became a turning point in the history of the country and the role of women in the struggle for freedom and society at large.

Since that eventful day, women from all walks of life became equal partners in the struggle for a non-racial and non-sexist South Africa. 

This year's theme is "Together Empowering Women for Development and Gender Equality".

The commemoration of Women's Day reaffirms the power of women to work together to bring about fundamental change in society.