News & events


Black women, leadership and contemporary struggles in South African society

08 August 2017
12:00 - 14:00

Date: 8 August 2017

Time: 12:00 – 14:00

Venue: Video Conference Centres, Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria

9 August in South Africa is always a proud commemoration of the leadership and bravery of black women. The courage shown by the leadership of the 1956 Women’s March is a reminder that no struggle is insurmountable and that collective organising and unity can be an invaluable force for change.

Although the Women’s March demonstrated the power of women and resulted in some changes, the South African woman continues to experience challenges which impact on and distort perceptions on the value of women in society.

However, the daily struggle for liberation and freedom continued during apartheid, and continues into the contemporary period.


Dr Naomi Nkealah
Senior lecturer
Department of English Studies,
University of South Africa (UNISA)

Ms Nondumiso Nsibande
Executive Director
Tshwaranang Legal
Advocacy Centre (TLAC)

Ms Vuyiseka Dubula 
Programmes Director
Sonke Gender Justice 

Dr Heidi van Rooyen
Executive Director
Human and Social Development, (HSD)
Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

Dr Benita Moolman         
Research Specialist
Human and Social Development, (HSD)
Human Sciences Research Council (HSRC)

Our work is not done. Black women are breaking new boundaries and setting new standards yet are faced with on-going challenges and perceptions of their competence, value and their worth, within all sectors in South African society.

While women are well represented nationally and in the political space
particularly, this is yet to be seen at the provincial and local level. Within the research and academic environments, black female emerging researchers struggle to become more established researchers; those who do arrive are deemed exceptional.

This is mirrored in various other fora, the boardroom, the newsroom, the
classroom, amongst others. This seminar hosted by the HSRC will examine how black women across different sectors respond to the historical challenges borne of gender, class, sexuality and race, how the corridors of power are navigated, and what must be done to truly transform the lived realities of the black women in South Africa towards an equitable society.