On Wednesday, 9 August 2017, South Africa celebrates National Women’s Day, the purpose of which is to raise awareness of women’s equality. The first National Women's Day was celebrated in 1995. The month of August has since been declared National Women’s Month. As we reflect on the last 22 years, has anything changed?

This year’s Women’s Month dawns on us at a time when many women and children have been subjected to violence. The increasing brutal attacks against women and children have to a large extent been perpetrated by those they trust, including boyfriends, fathers, husbands and uncles. Violence against women and children is about power and control, which is unacceptable.

Research suggests that eliminating violence against women is a prerequisite for gender equality and the empowerment of women. Women empowerment and education is key to reducing the many dimensions of gender inequality.

The United Nations has concluded that “ending all forms of discrimination against women and girls is not only a basic human right but is also crucial to accelerating sustainable development. It has been proven time and again that empowering women and girls has a multiplier effect, and helps drive up economic growth and development across the board.”

NAPTOSA has organised a number of events to commemorate Women’s Month, and in particular, National Women’s Day. Amongst key issues that will be discussed at these events are women’s health, women economic empowerment and women leadership. Dates earmarked for celebrating Women’s Month are as follows:

- 19 August 2017 – NAPTOSA Eastern Cape
- 19 August 2017 – NAPTOSA Gauteng
- 25 August 2017 – NAPTOSA North West

Female NAPTOSA members who are interested in participating in these events should contact their respective provincial offices for more information.

NAPTOSA is committed to women empowerment through education. NAPTOSA Head Office staff have been visiting various branch meetings and conducting workshops throughout the year sensitizing members about Gender Based Violence (GBV) and School Related Gender Based Violence (SRGBV).