Women's Day 2017: Message from the Executive Dean

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Women's Day 2017: Message from the Executive Dean


On 9 August 1956, thousands of South African women marched on the Union Buildings to protest against the pass laws, which were laws designed to limit, among others, the free movement, access to housing and livelihoods of black people in apartheid South Africa. The 1956 march was a brave and extraordinary act of defiance against apartheid legislation. This year marks the 61st anniversary of the march which popularised the slogan, Wathint' abafazi, wathint' imbokodo (You strike a woman, you strike a rock).

At Milpark Education, we are proud of our commitment to enhancing access to higher education for women. During Women’s Month, we celebrate our contribution to ensuring that South Africa progresses towards a gender-balanced society. Women, at Milpark Education, are fast becoming the majority of the student body; our female alumni continue to pioneer in their respective fields and are contributing to making South Africa a better place for all who live in it. We also acknowledge our women staff, most of whom juggle the heavy demands of family life with the pressures of their day jobs.

As we salute the women who marched 61 years ago, let us reflect on how we, individually and collectively, can contribute to the advancement of the struggles of women and girls in our society. We remember them for their courage, sacrifice and brave actions. Over the past 21 years of our democracy, South Africa has made great strides in advancing the rights of women, increasing their representativity and voice in society. But, even though we have seen great strides in the advancement of women, much more still needs to be done to transform our society to the egalitarian one we would like to see.

We owe a debt of gratitude and honour to the women who marched in 1956, among whom were the likes of struggle leaders including Lilian Ngoyi, Rahima Moosa and Helen Joseph. Let us, every day, in our respective fields, reciprocate their spirit of fighting for a better South Africa and the advancement of women rights. We salute all Milpark Education women on this Women’s Day!

Esther Venter

Executive Dean 

08 Aug 2017