Celebrating Women’s Day in Cape Town

Written by Yazeed Kamaldien

A walk of “unity, solidarity and celebration” is planned for central Cape Town on Women’s Day as part of a festival of drama, workshops and exhibitions next week.

Women’s Day annually commemorates the efforts of women who marched against apartheid pass laws on August 9 1956.

The walk on this date will take place next Saturday. Women are requested to gather at St George’s Cathedral at 9am and will then walk to Artscape Theatre half hour later.

The walk is part of the Artscape Women’s Humanity Arts Festival, which runs Wednesday to Saturday. Organisers said it aimed to “bring together all women from the Mother City’s cultural kaleidoscope… to get to know one another better”.

Marlene Le Roux, Artscape’s director of audience development and education, said the eighth edition of their annual festival would leave guests “feeling celebrated and honoured for being a human being and a woman”.

She added: “The theme of the festival is humanity and the objective this year is to celebrate and salute those women who actively strive to better their own lives and the lives of countless other women in our society today.

“The festival includes, as it has for the past seven years, the disabled community, the disenfranchised community and women and men from all walks of life. It is a response to highlight the lack of humanity which marginalised groups face on a daily basis in South Africa, with particular emphasis on women and the disabled.”

Le Roux said the festival would include “song and poetry, art exhibits, book launches and a groundbreaking launch of a website specifically designed for disabled women”.

Archbishop Desmond Tutu is also lined up to talk about forgiveness at the festival.

Stage highlights meanwhile include award-winning dancer and choreographer Mamela Nyamza’s autobiographical work, Hatched. Jazz singer Melanie Scholtz will perform Freedom’s Child, “which pays homage to literary activist, James Matthews, perfectly marrying poetry and jazz”.

Workshops on human rights, domestic violence and sexual offences will be held alongside screenings for blood glucose and blood pressure.

All Iziko Museum’s eleven galleries and museums will be open and offer free entry on Women’s Day. A host of other events are planned for Women’s Day.

Reclaiming the P-word
The WHEAT Trust, which focuses on women’s development, will host a “feminist production”, Reclaiming the P-word, at the UWC Performing Arts Centre on August 12 at 4pm.
“The play was written in 2006 to speak out against violence against women. It dates back to the era of Sarah Baartman and Kratoa, highlighting the history of violence against women. It also introduces the audience to the women behind the statistics.”
More info on the website http://www.wheattrust.co.za.

Money talks
ForwardFund, a dynamic community investment initiative, is hosting a Women’s Investment Workshop on August 8 from 11am. It aims to “give Cape Town’s businesses and investors the opportunity to invest in women’s start up businesses and meet social entrepreneurs”. More info on the website http://www.artscape.co.za.

Help a girl with toiletries
The Businesswomen’s Association of South Africa is collecting toys, toiletries and clothes for the St George’s Home for Girls, aged four to 21.
The Wynberg home is a “safe haven for approximately 40 young girls between the ages whose parents have found themselves in dire situations and cannot take care of their children”.
More info contact ct@bwasa.co.za or 021-671-6118.

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About Yazeed Kamaldien

Self-employed journalist and photographer from South Africa.

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