ARTICLE: The countdown to DPSA Women’s Day has begun

Date: 22 Aug 2017

The countdown to the Annual Women's Month celebrations of the Public Service and Administration Department has begun.

Did you know that the day, which is attributed to the more than 20 000 women who staged a historic march on August 9, 1956 at the Union Buildings in Pretoria to protest against the proposed amendments to the Urban Areas Act, commonly known as the pass laws of 1950, is three days away?

Then if you were not aware, please be informed that on Friday, August 25, DPSA staff led by Public Service and Administration Minister, Faith Muthambi and her Deputy, Dipuo-Letsatsi Duba will be speaking in one voice about sexual harassment that happens in the work place.

On the day, the achievements and challenges in the struggle for women’s empowerment and gender equality will also be on top of the agenda.

According to one of the event organiser’s, Midilala Tefu, the day will start with an address by the Director-General, Mashwahle Diphofa in front of Batho Pele building at 9am.

He said as part of reliving the historic 1956 march, women from the DPSA and its entities will then walk from Batho Pele building to the Union Buildings.

Mr Tefu said the activities at the Union Buildings would include aerobics, adding that the women will also be taught self-defence, reminded about the importance of healthy eating as well as debt review.

“Minister Muthambi will address the gathering and she is expected to touch on issues relating to sexual harassment at the workplace. She will also encourage women to speak out against any sexual behaviour that makes them feel uncomfortable.

“The women will wrap up their day by playing indigenous games such as Morabaraba,” he said.

In South Africa, August 9 was declared, National Women’s Day, with the view of celebrating the women’s contribution to the liberation of the country and their achievements since the dawn of democracy in 1994.

The DPSA Women’s day celebrations is aimed at continuing with raising awareness to ensure the achievement of the aims and aspirations of the women who marched to the Union Buildings 61 years ago.

This year, the country, marked the National Women’s Day under the theme: “The Year of OR Tambo: Women United in Moving South Africa Forward.”

Oliver Reginald Tambo, the late and former President of the ruling African National Congress (ANC) was a leading proponent of women’s emancipation within the liberation movement according to President Jacob Zuma.

“He consistently articulated the position that the oppression of women is linked with racial and class oppression. He urged women to be their own liberators and participate actively in the struggle against national oppression and also gender equality,” he said.

While the country is always attracting negative publicity following the on-going brutal killings of women and children, women are the primary beneficiaries of government’s programmes aimed at fighting poverty.

The National Development Plan (NDP) sets a goal to ensure that by 2030, all women and children, will feel safe at their homes, streets, school and workplace.

It is in our hands to work together in promoting a society where women feel safe at all times.

Nthambeleni Gabara

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