Pretoria – As South Africa marks the 60th Anniversary of the 1956 Women’s March to the Union Buildings, Minister in the Presidency responsible for Women, Susan Shabangu has paid tribute to the women who participated in the march.
Minister Shabangu highlighted that 2016 is a significant year because South Africans are celebrating 22 years of democracy and 20 years of the country’s Constitution, thanks to the women of 1956.
“Those women sacrificed their lives, their comfort, and everything they had to make sure that South Africa becomes a better country. One significant aspect of the women of 1956 is that they were united, whether rich or poor, they came together beyond the racial lines and make sure that today we are beneficiaries of those struggles,” Minister Shabangu said on the eve of the anniversary of the1956 women’s march.
She called on all women, especially young women, to come together and celebrate the 60th anniversary and re-march to the Union Buildings on Tuesday.
“Come and march with us, lets’ re-enact their activities of 1956. We no longer carry pass laws and we are able to vote. We’ve just come out from local government elections, and let’s not take those access for granted.
“Let’s all come together and make the day a celebration and a day to rededicate, recommit ourselves and also ensuring that our National Development Plan becomes a reality,” Minister Shabangu urged women.
Women to march down memory lane
President Jacob Zuma will tomorrow, the 9 August, deliver the national message at the 60th Anniversary of the National Women’s Day celebrations to be held at the Union Buildings, south lawns in Pretoria.
This year’s Women’s Month is dedicated to creating a more conducive environment to foster equal and full participation of women in the mainstream economy.
In preparation for the day, President Zuma established an Inter-Ministerial Committee (IMC) on the 60th Anniversary of the 1956 Women’s March and appointed 10 Ministers, Gauteng Premier and Tshwane Executive Mayor to oversee and ensure the planning and success of this momentous occasion.
Minister Shabangu, who led a media briefing of the IMC on the 60th Anniversary of the Women’s March on Monday, pointed out that the Union Buildings was chosen as the celebration venue because it is where the 1956 march took place and therefore symbolically ideal to take the women down the historical memory lane again.
“The objective of this event is to revive the spirit of the courageous women of 1956 and to recreate memories of that day.”
Women’s Living Heritage Monument
The day will start with the launch of the Women’s Living Heritage Monument at Lillian Ngoyi Square by President Zuma.
The Women’s Living Heritage Monument, which is adjacent to the State Theatre on Lillian Ngoyi and Helen Joseph Streets, tells a story about women’s contribution to the liberation struggles.
The living heritage will be opened to public the on 8 March 2017.
The day will also see a massive parade from the Lillian Ngoyi to the Union Buildings following footsteps of the foremothers and celebrating achievements of women in all sectors.