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A Tribute to the Women of Joburg


Independent, co-operative, strong yet vulnerable, sociable and attentive, these are just some of the characteristics we celebrate women for and the many roles they are required to fulfil as the women of Joburg. Paying tribute to the city’s fair female population; the women of Joburg have no choice but to embrace variable responsibilities in order to shine in the city of Gold.


Johannesburg, commands a great deal from its leading ladies who have mastered the fulfilment of a multitude of personas, some in the spotlight and others behind the scenes in order to survive Joburg’s rigorous demands.


Throughout history, the city of Johannesburg has been home to a number of unwavering women that have left their mark engraved on the pathways to Joburg’s success story.


What began over 60 years ago, with the first steps taken by the women of this country in support of the freedom of movement, August 9th is marked by a national celebration of the fearless females that marched against the Urban Areas Act or more commonly referred to as the pass laws of 1950. Around 20 000 women took to the streets and peacefully marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to deliver a petition containing over 100,000 signatures to the office of J.G. Strijdom, after standing steadfast and in silence for thirty minutes outside a closed office door, the women began to sing a song of protest, “Wathint’Abafazi Wathint'imbokodo” translated meaning, “Now you have touched the women, you have struck a rock”.


For centuries, South African women have broken the mould of “meek and mild”, resolute to their wilful determination to achieve the most basic of human rights, equality and in contest against the unlawful indignities committed against women and their children.



  • Outspoken and in grave opposition to the South African apartheid regime, Miriam Makeba well known as Mama Africa, not only a song-writer and musician, but equally a South African history hero, endured a three-decade-long exile imposed by the apartheid-era South African government.
  • Winnie Mandela the female African activist and leader in the opposition against white minority rule played a hugely influential role in the anti-apartheid campaign.
  • Ray Simons, born Rachel Alexandrowich, although not native to South Africa, played a vital role in founding the Federation of South African Women, fighting for equal female rights in the country.
  • Born in Sussex, England; Helen Joseph was a committed South African anti-apartheid activist. She played a pivotal role in the creation of the Federation of South African Women and spearheaded the 1956 Women’s March in Pretoria.
  • The first female elected to the executive committee of the ANC and President of the Women's League, Lillian Ngoyi was one of the brave few to elicit the support of international influence in the plight against the apartheid regime.



From political evangelists to entrepreneurs, mothers, nurses’, teachers and friends, our grandmothers and great grandmothers have written many a story to influence the impressionable young women of our future.


Wearing diversity as an Amazing Technicolor Dream coat”, the young women of Jozi, flourishing females of Joburg and the established first ladies of Egoli, each play an integral, interrelated, co-dependent and symbiotic function as the daughters’, sisters and mothers of our city. In tribute to these “ceaseless sisters”, we salute you and the continued progress, improvements and accomplishments yet to be made to the benefit of our city and country at large.

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