South Africa: Women's Day 2020 - No Cause for Celebration


South Africa celebrated Women's Day on 9 August, but is there a reason for women to celebrate the day, especially given the high rates of gender-based violence and unsafe living conditions women in the country face?

We have nothing to celebrate this Women's Day, says Lucinda Evans, an activist in Cape Town. Over the past two years, South Africa has seen various protests over gender-based violence and femicide. Evans, a community activist and director of Philisa Abafazi Bethu in Lavender Hill, told Daily Maverick that SA cannot celebrate Women's Day when women are still unsafe in the country and "the women of 2020 are still enslaved".

Evans spoke to Daily Maverick on 10 August, a day after she and a group of women hung panties on the gates of the house of Anglican Archbishop Thabo Makgoba in Bishopscourt on Women's Day in support of Reverend June Dolley-Major, who had allegedly been raped by another priest in 2002. According to Dolley-Major, one of the questions she had been asked was what type of underwear she had been wearing at the time of the rape.

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