Anti-apartheid struggle icon Sophie de Bruyn on Tuesday charged young South African women to play an active role against problems including poverty, unemployment and inequality.
“The march to this Union Buildings in 1956 by 20 000 women was not only against the carrying of passes by African women but also the challenges and the oppressive system that sought to deepen the inequalities in terms of race and gender which resulted in the current triple challenges of poverty, unemployment and inequality which burden women the most,” De Bruyn said as she addressed an annual Women’s Day commemoration in Pretoria.
“It is for the youth to take the baton that we have already handed over to them and to fight the ills and injustices in our country right now, which are the increase of the abuse of women, violence against women and children, the wage gap and the inequality and poverty.”
De Bruyn said it should not take South Africa “so many years to transform”.
She expressed gratitude to former Gauteng Premier Nomvula Mokonyane, who came up with the women’s monument idea. The monument was launched by President Jacob Zuma earlier on Tuesday.
The monument is comprised of statues of Lillian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Rahima Moosa and Sophie de Bruyn – the four leaders of the women’s march to the Union Buildings 60 years ago.
On Tuesday, South Africans were celebrating Women’s Day in honour of the more than 20 000 women of all races who marched in 1956.
August is dedicated as Women’s Month in South Africa, with nationwide commemorations taking place on August 9.
From the Lillian Ngoyi Square, the senior government and African National Congress officials marched to the Union Buildings along same the route taken by the 1956 women.
– African News Agency (ANA)