Mbalo Brief – August 2019

Every year, on 9 August, South Africa celebrates Women’s Day in honour of the 20 000 women who marched to the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956 to protest against the discriminatory pass laws. Since then, the role and recognition of women in South Africa has transformed. In 2005 for instance, former president Thabo Mbeki announced the appointment of Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka as the first female deputy president of South Africa. Today, we have so many women who have made ground-breaking achievements such as Caster Semenya, Mandisa Mfeka (the world’s first black female fighter pilot), Advocate Thuli Madonsela, Maria Ramos (former chief executive officer of Absa Group Limited) and the list goes on. These women are proof that South Africa’s perception of women has changed over the years and that the country has taken some steps towards attaining gender equality. As much as some achievements have been made, however, there is still a long way to go as some women still experience challenges such as gender-based violence (domestic and sexual harassment at home and in the workplace), underage/forced marriages and motherhood penalties (a term given by sociologists when working mothers are considered less competent because they may not be able to do or handle the same work as a man or non-mother while having to take care of her children).


Download Mbalo brief August 2019