Recently, the country celebrated Women’s Day, recalling
the courageous actions of about 20 000 women of all races who sang
“Wathint’abafazi, Strijdom!” (You stike a woman!) as they arrived at the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956.
Although the protest focused on discriminatory pass laws, it was a concrete affi rmation that the struggle for liberation would not be won without women activism.
The actions by this group of heroic women set the tone for gender equality and empowerment in a democratic South Africa.
Twenty-one years into our democracy their bravery still echoes in every aspect of our lives
and it is clear that we will never be totally free until there is gender parity at all levels of society.
Due to the sacrifi ces of these brave women we now live in a country governed
by legislation, which ensures that women enjoy the same rights as their male counterparts in education, employment, property, inheritance and justice.
Over the past 21 years government has also implemented numerous policies and initiatives to uplift women
and help them reach the pinnacle of success.
Today it is not uncommon to see women breaking through glass ceilings and excelling in every field,
and every time it happens we like to believe that it reassures a girl somewhere in South Africa that she too can reach the top.
One of the most important partners in spreading the word about women succeeding is the media.
However, too often only women’s publications report on these achievements while mainstream publications tend to give prominence only in supplements or so-called pages dedicated to women.
This is borne out by a Media Tenor SA report, “A Woman in a Man’s World” (2013), which points to
the fact that issues related to women are consistently underreported across media. Media might have come a long way since being
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