Women have always made their mark in society as strong, patient and passionate individuals who work tirelessly to help keep their families, loved ones and friends together. Women’s Day is celebrated every year on August 9 to commemorate the largest demonstration in South African history where over 20000 women marched to the Union Building to present a petition against carrying of passes by women to the prime minister. The day was aimed to help eliminate discrimination against women.
Since then many women run organizations and support groups have been started. One such organization is Women Zone, which started in 2012 with fourteen women at The Kitchen in Woodstock. These women were from different backgrounds and cultures and got together to share their personal stories, thus bringing women from all walks of life together. In 2013 a second, bigger meeting of women took place at the District Six Homecoming Centre – and interested parties were invited to form a working group to move things forward.
Three main projects were identified: 13 Women storytelling Series, a Woman’s Walk and a Woman’s Hub. In 2014 Women Zone was short listed as a project for Cape Town’s nomination as World Design Capital. The launch of the Women’s Library in 2015 started the storytelling sessions every first Thursday at the Mogalakwena Gallery. This gave birth to the ‘Being’ book, which was later published. Partnered with The Story Club of Cape Town for story sharing and a number of other organizations and individuals, a commemorative statue “Wire Woman” was created, which honoured all women of Cape Town.
This year, in celebration of Women’s Day on Friday, August 9, Women’s Zone invites all women to their Women’s Humanity Walk, which will start at the castle of Good Hope at 9am and finish at the Artscape Piazza at 11:30am. An iconic site is chosen each year as a starting, point such as the St George’s Cathedral, District Six Homecoming Centre, The Iziko Slave Lodge and the Bo-Kaap and this year, what could be more symbolic than The Castle of Good Hope; because this is not a march of protest, but a walk to demonstrate unity among women and all citizens of the Mother City. Walkers are blessed at the start by women leaders of different faiths, co-ordinated by the South African Faith and Family Institute. Women are encouraged to walk wit and talk to someone they do not know along the way.
What started six years ago with a few hundred women walkers has grown to include a few thousand – and in keeping with the tradition of The Walk, children and men are welcome. As always, persons with disabilities are also invited to join in where they are able to. This year the theme Empowering Persons With Disabilities focuses on them specifically, as they partner with the Chaeli Campaign – Hope in Motion!
To ALL women – The Next 48hOURS wishes you a happy Women’s Day.