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RIGHTS-SOUTH AFRICA: Women Celebrate Gains

By Gumisai Mutume
JOHANNESBURG, Aug 10 (IPS) - Women groups in South Africa have celebrated their achievements by marching to the capital Pretoria to demand for more rights.

''I feel very proud of South Africans because over four years we have made encouraging gains,'' said Speaker of Parliament Frene Ginwala.

Ginwala, however, said the celebration did not mean the struggle for gender equality was over.

The National Women's Day, which fell on Sunday this year, has been set aside after the 1994 elections to honour women. The day itself is a milestone representing the gains for equality women in South Africa have achieved.

During the ages women have successfully fought for the right to vote, they fought against the extension of the notorious pass laws to women under apartheid, demanded and attained legal abortions and have risen to the ranks of parliament.

Women now make up 25 percent of legislators compared to the 3 percent figure during apartheid and are aiming to raise their profile at next year's general election.

''Today, with the help of our women and their crucial contribution and support, we have achieved a progressive constitution along with a gender-sensitive government which insists on visible women's representation,'' deputy arts minister Bridgette Maban Dla told 10,000 women who marched to Union Buildings in Pretoria Sunday.


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Comment by Joseph Cardillo on April 12, 2010 at 6:35pm
RIGHTS-SOUTH AFRICA: Women Celebrate Gains

By Gumisai Mutume
JOHANNESBURG, Aug 10 (IPS) - Women groups in South Africa have celebrated their achievements by marching to the capital Pretoria to demand for more rights.
''I feel very proud of South Africans because over four years we have made encouraging gains,'' said Speaker of Parliament Frene Ginwala.

Ginwala, however, said the celebration did not mean the struggle for gender equality was over.

The National Women's Day, which fell on Sunday this year, has been set aside after the 1994 elections to honour women. The day itself is a milestone representing the gains for equality women in South Africa have achieved.

During the ages women have successfully fought for the right to vote, they fought against the extension of the notorious pass laws to women under apartheid, demanded and attained legal abortions and have risen to the ranks of parliament.

Women now make up 25 percent of legislators compared to the 3 percent figure during apartheid and are aiming to raise their profile at next year's general election.

''Today, with the help of our women and their crucial contribution and support, we have achieved a progressive constitution along with a gender-sensitive government which insists on visible women's representation,'' deputy arts minister Bridgette Maban Dla told 10,000 women who marched to Union Buildings in Pretoria Sunday.

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