South Africa: Women Celebrate Historic Women’s March

In celebration of Women’s Day, thousands of South African women re-enacted an historic march through South Africa’s capital, Pretoria, on Wednesday. In addition to honoring the 20,000 women who marched against apartheid laws 50 years ago, the march was held in protest of South Africa’s high rate of domestic violence, reports BBC News.

Today in South Africa, women comprise a third of the parliamentarians and 43 percent of the President’s cabinet, and they have made limited gains in the corporate world, according to IRIN News. In spite of advances in gender equality in the past 50 years, South Africa still has high levels of violence against women and one of the highest rates of rape in the world, reports IRIN News.

South African President Thabo Mbeki spoke at the march, saying, “…[W]e must uphold the perspective that none of us is free unless the women of our country are free – free from race and gender discrimination, free from poverty and loss of human dignity, and free from fear and violence,” Business Day reports.


IRIN News 8/7/06; BuaNews 8/9/06; BBC News 8/9/06; Business Day 8/11/06

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