South African’s National Liberation Movement

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ANC Statements


9 August 2021

On this day, 65 years ago, thousands of militant and fearless women marched to the Union Buildings to protest against the draconian and oppressive pass laws imposed by the apartheid regime. The African National Congress (ANC) salutes millions of women across the length and breadth of South Africa as we commemorate National Women’s Day.
The ANC declared its 2021 theme as: “The Year of Unity, Renewal and Reconstruction in the Year of Charlotte Maxeke.” Mama Maxeke personifies the war against oppression and patriarchy. She remains an inspiration to those who are leading the war against racial oppression and patriarchy.
This year, South Africa commemorates Women’s Month under the theme: “Generation Equality: Realising Women’s Rights for an Equal Future.” The Alliance sees Women’s Month as a platform to commemorate the heroic contribution of women in the liberation struggle and to focus the attention of the nation on the rights of women and to assess how far we have come as a nation on the journey towards women empowerment and gender equality.
On this National Women’s Day, let us rededicate ourselves to the task of promoting and protecting the rights of women and to assess the distance we still need to travel on the journey towards women empowerment and gender equality. As a nation, we have a duty to accelerate our advance towards the eradication of gender discrimination and to promote the rights of women and girls in all aspects of life, including the economy. 
As we remember the veterans of the 1956 march, we must make a solemn pledge never to betray the ideals and aspirations that inspired them. In this regard, the ANC will never rest until the goals of gender equality, women’s rights and the end to gender-based violence have been achieved.
The ANC believes that democracy has registered significant progress in restoring the dignity of women. An array of measures introduced by the ANC government has contributed towards the empowerment of women, including availing more opportunities and access to services for women. Yet, we remain painfully aware that the struggle for women emancipation is far from over.  Women still bear a disproportionate burden of the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment. Poverty and unemployment in South Africa continue to bear a black female face.
Women continue to be marginalised and discriminated against in terms of economic opportunities and in the labour market. The struggle for women emancipation is thus far from over.  The gender pay gap, gender-based violence, discrimination against women’s access to finance and assets, and other challenges continue to rob women of the opportunity to become productive citizens of the country as it condemns them to a life of perpetual fear and discrimination. 
The ANC has made a call to all its structures to campaign alongside all sectors of society for women’s empowerment and gender equality, and to launch a sustained offensive against gender-based violence and toxic masculinity in order to build a truly non-sexist society.
Pule Mabe
National Spokesperson
071 623 4975