Gauteng Premier David Makhura’s message yesterday on Women’s Day was that women must take action to change the still prevalent patriarchy in South African society.
Speaking at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, Makhura told the crowd of women that this included government and officials.
He urged them to pressure institutions to speed up measures to implement equality and end gender-based violence.
“If you want change to happen, you must be involved, organised and willing to take action. Don’t bank on others doing things for you.
“Governments don’t always work properly if they are not put under pressure,” Makhura said.
Hundreds of women clad in ANC garb and other political party regalia, religious outfits and colourful traditional attire walked to the Union Buildings from the centre of Pretoria yesterday to celebrate the public holiday.
They walked two kilometres through the capital city, from the Women’s Living Heritage Monument at Lilian Ngoyi Square to Union Buildings, retracing the route of the 1956 Women’s March to protest against the introduction of passes for black women.
The event was also a commemoration of the centenary of lifelong ANC activist Albertina Sisulu.
Makhura said that in some instances, government officials were not aware of the urgency of issues.
“I know government officials sometimes work at their own pace.
“I know sometimes the pressure and urgency of the issues elude us as government officials.
“We need you to be knocking at the door of the premier to say no action has been taken. We are here to make sure there is action.”
He told the women that for them it was “not yet uhuru” and that they must fight for gender equality just as people fought for the liberation of the country from apartheid.
“It took a struggle to get us to where we are today. The truth is, it will take a struggle to get us to the final destination.
“For you, it will take organised and militant action to get us where we need to be.”