Women’s Day 2016 | Western Cape Government

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Women’s Day 2016

This year celebrates the 60th anniversary of the commemoration of the women’s march on 9 August 1956 by thousands of South African women across all colour lines to the Union Buildings in protest against the proposed amendments to the Urban Areas Act of 1950, commonly referred to as the "pass laws". It 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.

We’ve come a long way since 1956 and women are excelling in all fields of business, not just rising to top positions, but changing the business environment completely. Women are empowering themselves and setting an example for those women that aren’t so fortunate to have the same opportunities.

Women leading the way 

Tenjiwe Kaba from Moyo We Khaya, a community garden in Khayelitsha won the award for best subsistence producer from the Western Cape Department of Agriculture in 2015. The garden is tended by women farming vegetables. This group stood out for the excellent service they deliver to the community and for the inspiration they provide for other residents.

Ntsiki Biyela is a trailblazer and as the first black female winemaker in Africa she didn't only opened the path for other women of colour to follow in her footsteps, she also excels in her field. In 2009 her first red blend for Stellakaya, a boutique winery in Stellenbosch took the gold award at the industry’s prestigious Michelangelo Awards. This is a major triumph for a woman that didn’t  grow up in wine farming and production.

Theresa Cupido is the CEO and owner of Roadmarking and Civil Engineering Company, ATN Group (Pty) Ltd. She has made a name for herself in this very male-dominated industry and was named the Sanlam / Business Partners Entrepreneur of the Year’s Job Creator of the Year® in 2014.

Every day, women are leading and excelling in fields of business that were previously dominated by men. Women have the power to not only survive but to excel in any career they choose.

Domestic abuse

Unfortunately the reality for majority large amount of women in South Africa is facing domestic violence and abuse. Statistics show that most women who were killed in a violent situation suffered that fate at the hands of their partners. 

If you’re the victim of domestic abuse and your abuser is someone you share a domestic relationship with, then you must apply for a protection order, in terms of the Domestic Violence Act. A protection order has conditions, which set out what the abuser may not do. Should the abuser break these conditions then they can be arrested. If the abuse involves a criminal offence a charge can be laid for that offence.

Find out more information about Protection from Domestic Abuse.


If you’ve been  a victim of rape or sexually assaulted, then you should  report this to the police immediately.  Police aren’t allowed to refuse to investigate your case if you report it. However, if there is too little evidence after an investigation by the police, a prosecutor may decide not to prosecute your case.

Read more information on reporting rape.

Philisa Abfazi Bethu

Philisa Abfazi Bethu is a non-profit organisation in Lavender Hill, Cape Town. The orginisation was started in 2008 by Lucinda Evans a well-known community worker and social activist.

Lucinda witnessed the abuse that women have to endure and decided to open a centre to support women, especially women experiencing violence, women who need to be upskilled, women who need support, women struggling with substance abuse, women not managing with parenting and need parenting support and also women who would like to change their lives and develop themselves.

Lucinda Evans received the Legion of Honor award from the French ambassador in South Africa, Elisabeth Barbier earlier this year to praise her for her community support work in Lavender Hill.

Philisa Abfazi Bethu has several programmes to empower women and their empowerment training programmes aim to help women to be independent, safe and secure within their homes and the community.

For more information please visit the Philisa Abfazi Bethu website.

Philisa Abafazi Bethu - Celebrating 6 years of community support

The content on this page was last updated on 8 August 2016