National Womens Day

written byLiquor Board

EASTERN CAPE LIQUOR BOARD COMMEMORATES WOMEN’S DAY

The National Women’s day commemorates the 9 August 1956 when women in all corners of South Africa participated in a national march organized by the Federation of South African Women to petition against the pass laws which was a legislation that required African persons to carry their identity documents on them as proof that they were allowed to enter the areas designated for the white race. It was reported that over 20 000 women of all races and ages from across the country marched together towards the Union Building in Pretoria.  All these women marched in a protest against the pass laws that were enforcing further restrictions on the movement of women.

Women in all corners of the country had put their names to the petitions indicating their frustration and unhappiness at the deprivation of their freedom of movement.  The Fedsaw led by four women who took the initiative and challenged the apartheid regime (Helen Joseph, Rahima Moosa, Sophy Williams and Lillian Ngoyi) delivered the petitions to the Prime Minister JG Strijdom’s office within the Union Buildings chanting freedom songs such as “Nkosi Sikelela iAfrica” and a leading song called “Wathint’ abafazi, wathint’ imbokodo Strijdom!”

The Eastern Cape Liquor Board acknowledges the tenacious initiative and the force that freed the women of South Africa. Today we see and learn of women who are leaders of prominent institutions in SA and globally. We celebrate recent development that recognize leadership capabilities of women in South Africa such as Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma who is a politician and a former anti-apartheid activist, who has been recently appointed as the chairperson of the African Union Commission, also the new National Police Commissioner (Mangwashi Phiyega) being the first woman to lead the Police force in SA .

However, we cannot turn a blind eye on the new challenge the women of this era are facing.  Gender based violence that includes physical, sexual and psychological harm has become a preponderate of all the challenges that faces the women of this era.  As per the article extracted from the Culture and Human Rights series Part II, it is estimated that a woman is killed by her male partner every six hours in South Africa, the highest rate of death by domestic violence in the world.

Violence against women remains a major public health and human right challenge.  People with a predisposition for physical or emotional violence are more likely to be violent when they have consumed liquor. It has been noted with concern that perpetrators of gender violence blame alcohol and other substance as a cause for their violent behavior. The Eastern Cape Liquor Board, as mandated by the Eastern Cape Liquor Act No. 10 of 2003, is committed to combating the negative socio-economic effects caused by excessive liquor consumption. We continue to advocate and bring awareness on the negative effects of liquor consumption to the community and encourage communities to be responsible through our community based programmes.

The Eastern Cape Liquor Board in the interest of a safer society that does not tolerate violence against women, where women are powerful, self reliant, equal and respected, would like to encourage all victims of gender-based violence to seek help. If alcohol abuse is affecting your lives, contact the helpline on 0800 150 150 for assistance.

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