Thursday 8 March marks International Women’s Day, and it will be celebrated under the theme #PressforProgress promoting equality and justice for women globally.

The United Nations (UN) says International Women’s Day 2018 comes on the heels of unprecedented global movement for women’s rights, equality and justice.

It celebrates this day with the theme: Time is Now, Rural and Urban Activists Transforming Women’s Lives.

It says, “This is an opportunity to transform this momentum into action, to empower women in all settings, rural and urban, and celebrate the activists who are working relentlessly to claim women’s rights and realize their full potential.”

Click below to watch International Women’s Day 2018 Message by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres:

Meanwhile, Crystal Dicks, Director: Gender Equity at the University of Witwatersrand, says generally days or events that are cut in the calendar exclude a vast majority of women.

“Women remain on the margins of debate around gender equity or on the margins of actually seeing tangible differences in their daily lives.”

Dicks says she agrees we need to #PushForProgress – but that we are very far off the mark.

She says, “I am really not sure what it means for the majority of women and why are we marking it on a particular day? Why is not part of our narrative in the work we do all the time?”

Dicks says to achieve women empowerment in South Africa especially in rural areas we need government interventions.

“We need a National Strategic Plan to actually fight gender based violence, to talk about a plan that will see us reaching more equitable levels, and that doesn’t just speak to women in urban areas. We need a plan that reaches out to women who are in rural communities.”

Click below to listen to full interview: