Significant celebrations mark Women’s Month

The Women's Jail at Constitution Hill in Braamfontein will host a series of events in celebration as part of the Women's Month celebrations.


The Women’s Jail at Constitution Hill, near the western end of the suburb Hillbrow, is hosting a series of activities to celebrate the courageous and brave women who publicly stood up for the rights of women in 1956.

The activities include a democracy dialogue by Thuli Madonsela and two exhibition launches – one of which depicts artworks by Fatima Meer painted while she was incarcerated in this prison.

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Phetsile Nxumalo, the marketing coordinator at Constitution Hill, said a night tour and storytelling by former prisoners of the Women’s Jail, a long table intergenerational dinner as well as a commemoration of Charlotte Maxeke and Adelaide Tambo took place on 3 August.

Nxumalo said Constitution Hill, which is now a beacon of hope for our democracy, has a painful past in its history. Many political women were incarcerated here for standing up for women’s rights. She cited Winnie Mandela, Albertina Sisulu, Fatima Meer, Barbara Hogan and Esther Barsel as some of the women who were part of that history.

Constitution Hill Women’s Jail is a significant site of commemoration for Women’s Month as it was once a place where ordinary women and political icons were imprisoned and subjected to gross human rights violations.

“During this year’s woman month campaign it is indeed the stories of these political stalwarts and ordinary citizens which will be remembered and retold as life lessons for current and future generations, never to repeat the atrocities of the past,” said Nxumalo.

“As a nation, we owe some of the rights and liberties we enjoy today to the sacrifice of these brave heroines of our freedom. We should never forget the price that was paid for our emancipation as a people.

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“Those who came before us and some of those who are still with us today put aside self and took a bold step to declare to the nation and to the world ‘not under my watch’. They put shoulder to the shovel offering the supreme sacrifice of personal freedom.”

The slogan for this year’s Woman’s month programme is Womandla – Commemorating the courage & triumph of HERstory.

The programme for the month is a robust and engaging programme with overriding themes of reciting scenes of the past and essential dialogues about the plight of women in our present-day democracy as well as the pivotal role of our Constitution.

The full #HERstory programme:

The series of events include film festivals, exhibitions, workshops, conferences as well as dialogues which started on 4 August and will continue to 30 August.

Details: [email protected]

Tell us how you will be celebrating your Women’s Day on our North Eastern Tribune Facebook page


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