Women's Month 2014
6 August 2014
The protest on 9 August 1956 by thousands of South African women across all colour lines, was an inspiring display of female unity and strength. The day reminds us of all the remarkable women who helped mould South Africa into a democracy.
In 2014, "we honour those women again", said Western Cape Minister of Cultural Affairs and Sport, Nomafrench Mbombo.
"We celebrate their fighting spirit. We make a personal commitment to embrace the freedoms of our constitutional democracy that were denied to the majority of South Africans until 1994. As we enter Women’s Month we should remember the courage of those women and commit to applying the same kind of courage in our own daily lives. We should never take for granted the opportunities we have today and we should use them to ensure that we become the best that we can be".
The theme for 2014 is "Celebrating 60 Years of the Women’s Charter and 20 Years of Democracy: Moving the Women’s Agenda Forward".
This year we commemorate 20 years of freedom and democracy, and the 60th anniversary of the Women’s Charter, which was adopted by the Federation of South African Women in 1954. The charter expresses the common experience, visions and aspirations of South African women and provides a platform to demand respect for, and recognition of, their human rights and dignity. The Women’s Charter is a serious call for real improvements in the lives of all women in South Africa.
The sub-themes for the 2014 campaign are:
• Equality – Recognising the need to address the historical imbalances between women and men in all spheres of life including political, business, 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 map for women’s advancement, development and a better quality of life.
One initiative driven by the vision to empower women in business is the Isivande Women’s Fund (IWF) which aims to accelerate women’s economic empowerment by providing more affordable, usable and responsive finance. The IWF targets formally registered, 60% women-owned and/or managed enterprises that have been operating for two or more years with a loan range of R30 000 to R2 million. The fund is particularly aimed at socio-economic development in the rural, prei-urban and township areas of South Africa.
"By celebrating '60 Years of the Women’s Charter and 20 Years of Freedom and Democracy', in August this year, let us all commit to making a difference our own lives and in the lives of other women. In this way, we can all “move the women’s agenda forward”, Minister Mbombo said.
Various activities have been planned by the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) during Women's Month in the Western Cape. View the DCAS Women's Day events calendar.
Listen to these official WCG radio advertisements in promotion, and celebration of, women's health: