National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise (pictured) and NCOP Chairperson Amos Masondo will join the country in commemorating Women's Day. Picture: Phando Jikelo/African News Agency(ANA)

Pretoria - Parliamentary officials including National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise and National Council of Provinces Chairperson Amos Masondo, will on Friday join the country in commemorating National Women's day. 

This year marks the 63rd anniversary of the 1956 Women’s March against the country's pass laws during apartheid. 

Parliament's spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said much progress had been made in 25 years of democracy, particularly in the areas of women’s empowerment, gender mainstreaming, equality and the abolition of any discriminatory practices and abuse against women.

But, he said the country continues to be plagued by the scourge of gender-based violence.

"South Africa can never claim to be free if children and women continue to die at the hands of men and boys, most of whom share close relationships with them."

He said gender-based violence undermined the gains of the hard-earned democracy and the sacrifices of women who fought for it. 

"As the highest oversight and law-making body of our country, Parliament will continue to use its powers enshrined in the Constitution to abolish practices and acts that discriminate against women, devalue their humanity and harm them," Mothapo said. 

Mothapo said Parliament would continue to protect women and girl children while holding the executive to account regarding the implementation of laws and policies promoting their interests.

African News Agency (ANA)