Where does Women’s Day come from?

WOMENS DAY ECARDS 2015 - Nelson Mandela

To know where South Africa’s National Women’s Day comes from, you have to look back 62 years to 9 August 1956. This was an important day in our history, when women stood up for their rights en masse for the first time.

20 000 women from all parts of the country, marched on the Union Buildings in protest against the Apartheid Pass Laws.

History of Women’s Day

The women who filled the amphitheatre gathered under the auspices of the Federation of South African Women (FEDSAW). In addition to their demonstration, they also delivered 100 000 signatures – no mean feat in an era without social media and technology.

FEDSAW itself was composed mostly of affiliated women’s groups, African, Indian, Coloured and White political organisations and trade unions, representing over 230 000 women at the time.

It’s objectives were:
  • to bring women of South Africa together to secure full equality of opportunity for all women, regardless of race, colour or creed;
  • To remove social, legal and economic disabilities
  • To work for the protection of women and children

The objectives above continue to be central to Women’s Day/month today. Now in its 62nd year, Women’s Day provides the opportunity to measure the progress of gender equality in our country and to recommit to it.


Here are some useful links to make your Women’s Day Celebration a memorable one:

-Top Women’s Day Event Ideas

-Talks especially suited for Women’s Day events


How to empower women in your workplace

Empowerment of women in the workforce means encouraging them to take more control of their own lives by:

  • creating financial independence
  • upskilling themselves
  • advancing their qualifications
  • fighting for equal pay
  • demanding equal opportunities
  • standing against sexual and domestic violence
  • improving their parenting skills
  • improving their relationship skills
  • keeping perspective
  • developing values to live by
  • discovering the power of choice
  • becoming independent and self-reliant
  • crafting their own personal brand
  • managing their stress

This Women’s Day, remind your female staff about the valuable place they have in society and how they can take more control over their lives by inviting an inspirational guest speaker with whom they can identify and who can identify with them.

With much love,