August is known to South Africans as Women’s Month as the country commemorates and pays tribute to the more than 20 000 women who marched to the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956 in protest against the extension of Pass Laws to women. The government of South Africa declared August as Women’s Month and 9 August is celebrated annually as Women’s Day. This year, it is also 24 years after the adoption of the Women’s Charter for Effective Equality. The charter was endorsed by the National Parliament in August 1994 and addressed a broad range of concerns such as equality, legal rights, economic issues, education, health, politics, and violence against women, amongst others. Since 1994, South Africa has introduced and implemented legislation, including the Commission on Gender Equality and the Employment Equity Act, for advancing equality and empowerment for women, children and people with disabilities.
Download Mbalo Brief – August 2018