In 1956, 200 000 women marched to Pretoria’s Union Buildings to protest apartheid pass laws for black women. The march to the Union Buildings signified women taking a stand against an unjust and dehumanising system that denied them recognition, dignity, respect, and subjugated them.
Since 1995, we celebrate Women’s Day on 9 August every year, commemorating and honouring the sacrifice and bravery of these women in fighting apartheid and discrimination. This year, we celebrate Women’s Month under the theme ‘Generation equality: Realising women’s rights for an equal future’. The concept of generation equality is a global campaign and links South Africa to global efforts to achieve gender equality by 2030. This movement is the most visionary agenda for the human rights of women and girls, everywhere. South Africa has made significant progress legislatively in promoting gender equality. For example, South Africa is one of the few countries with a dedicated ministry and legislation devoted to ensuring womens equality. Unfortunately, legislative reform does not always translate into actual change if there is no political will to enforce it and buy-in from society. Gender discrimination in the country continues to be a problem in various spheres, including the entrepreneurial landscape. The purpose of this lecture is to inspire debate around gender equality, unemployment, equal pay, and representation of women in leadership roles.