Every year on the 9th of August we, as South Africans, celebrate National Women’s Day. This day commemorates the events of 9th August, 1956, in which more than 20 000 women of all races marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria, in protest against the country’s oppressive pass laws. This day recognises the strength and resilience of women and all that they contribute to society. 

The theme for this year’s National Women’s Day is Women’s Socio-Economic Rights and Empowerment: Building Back Better for Women’s Improved Resilience.

21 Icons: Sophia Williams De Bruyn (3.10)
The Poet Protesting Femicide in South Africa (2.30)
Achieving Gender Equality – The World’s To Do List (2.17)

Women’s equality and empowerment is one of the 17 United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), but is also integral to all dimensions of inclusive and sustainable development. In short, all of the SDGs depend on the achievement of Goal 5: Achieve gender equality and empower all women and girls. Women and girls must have equal rights and opportunities to all people, and be able to live free of violence and discrimination.

Gender equality by 2030 is an agenda set up by the United Nations and it requires urgent action to eliminate the many root causes of discrimination that still curtail women’s rights in both private and public spheres.1

Although strides have been made in gender equality in South Africa, it is still not enough! Women in South Africa, and globally, still face domestic violence, discrimination in the workplace, unequal pay, sexual harassment and exploitation, lack of education and many more obstacles. 

Celebrating Women’s Day in South Africa (2.21)


Watch the video clip and answer the following questions:

  • Explain what women empowerment means to you.
  • Why is it so important that women are empowered? 
  • Why is achieving gender equality so critical for all?
  • Research an inspiring woman who has broken the barriers of gender inequality and is making a difference in South Africa; for example, Refilwe Ledwaba.

Important Dates:
August is Women’s month
9th August – National Women’s Day
12th August – International Youth Day

If you are using the Achieve Careers LO Programme, the following information and activities are recommended:

  • Grade 10 LO Manual – Section 4 (Gender Equality)
  • Grade 9 CAPS eBook – Section 3 (Constitutional Rights and Responsibilities)
  • Grade 8 CAPS eBook – Section 3 (Constitutional Rights and Responsibilities)
  • Teacher’s Flash Drive – LO Resources – folder on Gender Equality
  • Teacher’s Flash Drive – LO Resources – folder on Democracy and Human Rights


  1. UN Women. SDG 5: Achieve Gender Equality and Empower All Women and Girls, [Online], Available: bit.ly/EqualitySDG [2 Aug 2022].
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