World of Women
‘Sacrifices, patriotism, hard work’: What it means to be a woman in South Africa
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South African president Jacob Zuma has applauded the progress of South African women in their struggle to bring about freedom and a society free of poverty and inequality.
During an address for National Women's Day in Pretoria this week, Zuma celebrated the progress of South African women over the last 18 years, and their efforts to fight for a non-racist, non-sexist and democratic South Africa.
He paid tribute to the "sacrifices, patriotism, hard work and commitment" of the many generations of South African women, in line with the day's theme of "56 years of women united against unemployment, poverty and inequality".
National Women's Day is celebrated on 9 August every year to commemorate the march held by 20,000 South African women in 1956, in protest against apartheid laws.
"Today we look back at what we've achieved since the attainment of the freedom [South African women] fought so hard for, especially with regards to promoting gender equality," said Zuma.
While he said he was pleased with the improvement of women's rights in South Africa, Zuma noted that the government still has more to do.
"While we still have a lot of work to do, we are satisfied with the progress made thus far in improving the status and quality of life of women, in only 18 years of freedom," he said.
Zuma also noted the progress in improving women's access to health care services and the continued effort to support families and women who are victims of domestic violence.