International woman's day iwd2019 south african women

Photo: Evanto Elements/Prostock-studio

International Women’s Day: Ways to support South African women

While the world is celebrating International Women’s Day and gender balance, South African women have a unique set of challenges to overcome.

International woman's day iwd2019 south african women

Photo: Evanto Elements/Prostock-studio

South African women are faced with higher levels of violence – including femicide, sexual assault and female genital mutilation. Add to the mix poverty and socio-economic imbalances, and it’s clear that there is not really all that much to celebrate.

More needs to be done

Yes, progress was made along the way and we have more freedom now. For example, in the seventies, women on University campuses were not allowed to wear denim jeans or slacks.

Women graduates with far higher marks than their male counterparts were offered subordinate positions. And when it comes to the things that matter – our safety and livelihoods – there’s still much to be done.

Most South African women still don’t have access to healthcare or infrastructure. South African women aren’t financially independent and have to face the threat of sexual violence on a daily basis.

Based on that, we’ve compiled a list of ways of how to support South African Women, not just on International Women’s Day, but every day.

Included at the end of this article is a list of charities that focuses on uplifting and supporting women, and places to contact if you need help.

Watch – International Women’s Day: Engen celebrates women truck drivers

Support businesses operated and owned by women

Want to support women? Put your money where your mouth is and boost the impact women business owners and entrepreneurs have on consumer culture. Before buying a product or using a service, do a bit of research to determine of the business is managed or owned by women.

At the very least, establish if the company has equitable working conditions for women.

Raise awareness

Talk about everything which is being done right, and make a noise about everything that is still needs fixing. Go to group discussions, join activism groups and volunteer.

And while real-word discussions and action moves mountains, raising awareness on social media motivates people. Use the platforms at your disposal to motivate. Write your story and share others’ stories. Get the word out.

Read – International Women’s Day: Powerful quotes by South African women

Donate to Women’s organisations

Research local women’s group and organisations, and show your support by donating your money, time or skills.

A few organisations to consider:

Where to get help

And lastly, if you or anyone you know are exposed to sexual violence or assault, or need help of any kind, reach out to the following organisations:

People Opposed to Woman Abuse (POWA)

The TEARS foundation

Family and Marriage Association of SA (FAMSA)

  • Website: Famsa
  • Phone number: 011 975 7106/7
  • Social media: Facebook



  • Website: Childline South Africa
  • Phone number: 0800 055 555
  • Social media: Facebook