Pretoria - The streets of Pretoria will come alive on Wednesday as thousands of marchers, led by Gauteng Premier David Makhura, walk from Bosman Station to the Women’s Living Heritage Monument at Lillian Ngoyi Square to mark Women’s Day.
Makhura will lead the 2.2km walk in commemoration of the 61st anniversary of the historic 1956 Women’s March, which saw 20 000 women walk from the site of the monument to the Union Buildings in protest against the pass laws.
The provincial event is organised by the Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation under the theme, The Year of OR Tambo: Women United in Moving South Africa Forward. MEC Faith Mazibuko will also be there, and she will highlight the social challenges still faced by women in the country.
“By reliving the Women’s March, the province wants to revitalise the dedication shown by the women of 1956 in fighting for justice, an effort which should still continue even today,” Mazibuko said.
The Gauteng government had introduced a number of policies and programmes towards the development and empowerment of women.
“Through the Transformation and Modernisation programme, Gauteng understands that women have a right to assume key roles and be involved in a better South Africa with equal opportunities for all.
“With so much achievement the challenge is taking women empowerment into all sectors of our society, including economic transformation as we all move South Africa forward,” she said.
Meanwhile, a group of women under the Christian Umbrella will also march from Church Square to the Union Buildings on Wednesday.
The group’s Alice Mopelong said the purpose was to mark Women’s Day by mobilising all women to unite against the scourge of gender abuse.
“We are expecting a huge turnout of women from different places,” she said. Women were encouraged to take part in spite of their political affiliation. Issues to be highlighted included crime, drug abuse, prostitution and human trafficking.