Women's Month 2020 | Western Cape Government

Women's Month 2020

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Watch: Premier Alan Winde's Women's Day message

South Africans commemorate Women's Month in August and Women's Day on 9 August every year. It's a time to celebrate women's achievements and the important role that women of all races and religions play in South African society.

Women are creating positive change in society, and they're participating in the economy and community development. Although much has been done in the fight for gender equality, we still have a long way to go. 

This year Women’s Month is celebrated under the theme: “Generation Equality: Realising Women’s Rights for an Equal Future”. The concept of Generation Equality is a global campaign that links South Africa to global efforts to achieve gender equality by 2030.

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.

According to the Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Women’s Month will be used to eradicate another pandemic - gender-based violence and femicide.

We're called to tackle the unfinished business of empowering women through a multi-generational campaign, under the slogan: "Be a part of the generation that ends gender inequality".

The Western Cape Minister of Social Development, Sharna Fernandez encourages women to uplift one another. “We are successful in our efforts to promote gender equality and tackle other pertinent issues of social injustice when we work together, she said”

As a caring government, the Western Cape Department of Social Development (DSD), has several services and interventions for women and young girls, that seek to remove barriers. These include:

young women talking to each other with masks onVictim support programmes:

The Victim Empowerment Programme (VEP) supports victims and survivors of crime and violence, including Gender-Based Violence, as well as their families. Helping them to deal with the impact of the trauma which they have experienced.

The Department of Social Development Victim Empowerment Programme, supported by service providers in the Western Cape,offers a variety of services supporting victims which include:

  • ensuring that victims receive emotional and practical support,
  • assisting victims with the management of trauma,
  • ensuring that victims are educated to identify the symptoms of post-traumatic stress,
  • referring victims to professional services where necessary,
  • provision of court support services during the criminal justice process is dealt with efficiently,
  • promoting the rights and responsibilities of victims through advocacy,
  • ensuring that victims are aware of their rights,
  • ensuring that ongoing victimisation is prevented and
  • providing a shelter service.

The provincial Department of Social Development is currently funding 20 shelters in the Western Cape. These shelters can accommodate victims and their children up to 3 months, and 4 emergency shelters that can accommodate victims up to 3 weeks.

Shelters provide for basic needs that include: safe accommodation, protection, food, clothing and emotional support such as trauma debriefing and therapeutic counselling provided by a social worker. Victims are also provided with skills development opportunities to assist with the economic empowerment and reintegration of the victim.

Empowerment of the victim starts from the point of admission at the shelter, where the victim’s needs will be assessed including whether the victim has a permanent place of stay. The assessment report will influence the services or interventions conducted with the victims.

An african american school girl with her school bag on her back and carrying a bookSanitary Dignity Project:

The provincial Department of Social Development has plans in place to embark on the distribution of sanitary pads to school across the province - when the first phase of learners at schools is scheduled to be back.

It is widely understood that outside the family setting, schools are the most important places of learning for children. Thus, the provision of sanitary resources at schools where there is the greatest need will play a meaningful role in ensuring that these spaces are stimulating learning environments for female learners.

The key objective of the project is to address sanitary dignity, also referred to as menstrual hygiene management (MHM), in a holistic, integrated and co-ordinated way. The persons who stand to benefit from the implementation of the Sanitary Dignity Project are indigent women and girls who have reached puberty, commenced menstruation and who attend schools ranked at quintile 1, 2 or 3 with the option of expanding to quintiles 4 and 5, based on the results of a needs assessment and availability of resources. Furthermore, it was decided that the project should prioritize schools in rural areas and include special needs schools.

This project is targeting up to 90 000 female learners across the Province.

Be a part of the generation that ends gender inequality and join the conversation on social media using #IAmGenerationEquality.

Read Premier Winde's statement to mark Women's Day and find out how the Province is working to stop gender based violence and empower all women. 

The content on this page was last updated on 9 August 2020