Women’s Day 2020 message of support by Minister Nathi Mthethwa

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09 Aug 2020
Programme Director,  The President of RSA, His Excellency MC Ramaphosa, Minister of Women, Youth, and People with disability Honourable M Nkoane-Mashabane, Deputy Minister Prof. H Mkhize, Ministers and Deputy Ministers present, Members of the Media,  Ladies and gentlemen,   
 
Fellow South Africans, I extend my warmest greetings to all of you, the circumstances of our day, the challenges of our time force us to gather in a manner we did not anticipate this time last year. The whole world has been turned upside down by the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic.  
 
However, the resilience of humanity will conquer this challenge. In order for us to do so, we need to observe all the health protocols as issued by the World Health Organisation.   
 
We have gathered here this morning to celebrate Women’s Day under the theme: “Realising women’s rights for an equal future” which is embedded within the global Generation Equality Campaign as well as the current contextual factors in our country.
 
Women’s Day 2020 takes place in the context of the dual pandemics of COVID-19 and Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF), which have underlined the urgent need to decisively deal with the legacy of structural oppression to accelerate the transformation of society. This includes the transformation of unequal power relations between women and men and addressing gender oppression, patriarchy, sexism, racism, ageism and to create an environment which enables women to take full control of their lives, reach their full potential and contribute to the country’s development. In the past few months, the violent incidents directed against the women of our country demonstrate a barbaric nature of some amongst us.  In the words of the Women’s Charter adopted in 1954 under the clause: “Test of Civilisation: The level of civilisation which any society has reached can be measured by the 
degree of freedom that its members enjoy. The status of women is a test of civilisation. Measured by that standard, South Africa must be considered low in the scale of civilised nations”. 
 
We should redouble our efforts to build a united, non-racial, non-sexist, democratic and prosperous society in which women are guaranteed their rights as full human-beings.  
Thank you for your attention. 
 
Media enquiries:
Masechaba Khumalo: Spokesperson (Minister)
 
Zimasa Velaphi: Head of Communications (Arts & Culture)
 
Issued by the Department of Sport, Arts and Culture