What is the history of Women’s Day?

Nikki-Bush-Nelson-MandelaDuring the month of July, many people start looking for information about Women’s Day history. National Women’s Day in South Africa is a reminder of a time in our history when women came together and took a stand against the Apartheid regime and said, “No more!”

On 9 August 1956, over 20 000 women from all parts of the country, under the auspices of the Federation of South African Women (FEDSAW), converged on the Union Buildings. They filled the amphitheatre, demonstrating their opposition to the Pass Laws. In the words from a song composed to mark this historic occasion: ‘Strijdom [JG Strijdom was the Prime Minister at the time], you have tampered with the women. You have struck a rock.’

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.

The FEDSAW objectives, according to its constitution were:

  • to bring women of South African 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

They wrote the Women’s Charter at their first conference which called for:

  • The enfranchisement of men and women of all races
  • Equality of opportunity in employment
  • Equal pay for equal work
  • Equal rights in relation to property, marriage and children
  • The removal of all laws and customs that denied women such equality
  • Paid maternity leave
  • Childcare for working mothers
  • Free and compulsory education for all South African children

It was written at a time when:

  • There was a struggle for national liberation
  • South African courts continued to regard African women as perpetual minors under the permanent tutelage of their male guardians.
  • Women`s property rights were severely limited and control over their own earnings minimal.

The demands laid out in the “Women`s Charter” were ultimately incorporated into South Africa’s “Freedom Charter”, adopted by the Congress of the People in Kliptown on June 25-26, 1955.

The successful 1956 march on the Union Buildings resulted in the declaration of 9 August as Women’s Day to commemorate the achievement. It has been celebrated ever since and is now also a public holiday.

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.

As an inspirational speaker and best-selling author, I can offer you a number of solutions to meet your requirements:

-Six Minutes That Changed My Life – Nikki shares her journey of hope from collateral damage to collateral beauty after the brutal murder of her husband in 2017. Click here for more info.

-Get Outta Your Head team building workshop – a playful reminder of how to be a human being rather than a human doing. Click here for more info.

-Parenting on the Run – a practical and inspiring workshop for working parents who are long on love and short on time. Click here for more info.

-Brand You – personal branding in the workplace especially for network marketing and direct selling companies and franchise operations. Click here for more info.

-5 Jackets, 3 careers, 1 brand©  – Inspirational speaker and best-selling author, Nikki Bush, takes you behind the scenes of what it takes to build a strong brand by sharing the lessons she has learnt from wearing five different jackets and building three different careers. Click here for more info.

To discuss your requirements further email me at [email protected]

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