President Cyril Ramaphosa says this year has been declared a year of Charlotte Mannye Maxeke in an effort to encourage women to follow in her footsteps. Maxeke fought for women’s rights in South Africa.

Today the country is commemorating women who fought the Apartheid government against pass laws. Sixty-five years ago today, twenty thousand South African women marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria demanding an end to the law.

Virtual Women’s Day celebrations:

Ramaphosa says the country today needs such brave women to face current challenges.

“We celebrate the resolve of these women to determine their own destiny. At the same time pay tribute to today’s generation of women just as women of 1956 who fought against the injustices of their time. The women of today are engaged in a new struggle. It is a struggle for equal rights, dignity, economic liberation and freedom from violence.”

ANC says SA has duty to accelerate promotion of women’s rights

The ANC says that South Africa has a duty to accelerate the eradication of gender discrimination and to promote the rights of women and girls in all aspects of life, including the economy.

In its Women’s Day message the governing party has lamented the fact that women still bear a disproportionate burden of the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment.

The ruling party highlighted the gender pay gap, gender-based violence, discrimination against women’s access to finance and assets as challenges that continue to rob women of the opportunity to become productive citizens and condemns them to a life of perpetual fear and discrimination.

SACC on leaders in the country

The South African Council of Churches (SACC) says South Africa needs leadership that could enforce change like women in 1956 who were led by courageous leaders.

Sixty-five years ago today, twenty thousand South African women marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria demanding an end to the Pass Laws. The Council of Churches says the country lacks accountability from the leadership.

SACC general secretary, Malusi Mpumlwana says South Africa has a casual relationship with the law:

“We can not have accountability without consequence management and that is why we have what we have. We don’t like the decision of the Constitutional Court with regards to Mr Zuma so what happens the country must burn. Nobody gets arrested. A politician gets all the corruption and nobody gets arrested. What is at the root level, it is political self-interest. It is the electoral system that is there to support that self-interest. It is weak or compromised institutions all of these are at the root level.”