May 2015

Charlotte Maxeke’s home to become a museum

Sports, arts and culture

The Gauteng Provincial Government has announced that the house of struggle stalwart and one of the famous 1956 Women’s March leaders, Charlotte Maxeke, will be converted into a museum and interpretation centre.

Maxeke was the first black woman to obtain a BSc Degree, which she earned in 1901. In 1913, she also successfully led the first anti-pass march by women in the Free State towns of Bothaville and Bloemfontein, and was also one of the courageous women who marched to the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956 in protest against pass laws.

Gauteng Infrastructure Development MEC Nandi Mayathula-Khoza made the announcement at an International Women’s Day celebration at Kliptown’s Walter Sisulu Square of Dedication.

She delivered a keynote address on behalf of Gauteng Premier David Makhura.

“In line with the theme for this year’s International Women’s Day celebration, we will convert the house of Charlotte Maxeke into a museum and interpretation centre.

“This enhances the clarion call of the UN Women's Beijing +20 campaign: Empowering women, empowering humanity - picture it!” said MEC Mayathula-Khoza.

She said they proposed the theme ‘Make it happen: together moving Gauteng city region forward for women’ for this year’s International Women’s Day celebration.

“We decided to partner with women from all walks of life and sectors in this celebration to give expression to gender priorities … and to showcase programmes and direct service delivery initiatives to improve women's lives in partnership with women’s organisations,” she said.

MEC Mayathula-Khoza said the provincial government would also celebrate the 1954 Women’s Charter that aimed to unite women in common action for the removal of all political, legal, economic and social obstacles and strive to achieve women’s rights.

The MEC praised the provincial government for the achievements in improving the quality of lives of women. She cited the role women now play in leading businesses, governments and global organisations.

“We have removed laws, regulations, conventions and customs that discriminate against women. More women today occupy positions of power in all spheres of life. We continue to accelerate the implementation of gender equality and women empowerment policies,” she said.

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