Virtual Womxn’s Day celebration event

30 July 2021 | VC Prof Mamokgethi Phakeng

Dear colleagues and students

In continuing to recognise and acknowledge womxn’s contribution to the liberation of this country, we celebrate Women’s Day in South Africa on 9 August each year. We commemorate this day in order to also raise awareness on the persistent inequalities, discrimination and abuse of rights experienced by womxn today.

Throughout the month of August, we pay homage to the brave womxn who marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria on 9 August 1956.

Three years ago, I made a commitment to create opportunities for womxn at the University of Cape Town (UCT) by launching the For Womxn By Womxn research grants. The grants focus on:

  • building scholarship in areas of study where womxn are in short supply and in areas of study that are of relevance to womxn
  • training postgraduates and postdoctoral fellows, specifically focusing on building capacity among black South African womxn and transgender researchers.

In celebrating this significant month, we will host a virtual Women’s Day event under the theme, ‘Social responsiveness and internationalisation’. The programme features accomplished and inspirational womxn.

Miss South Africa 2020, Shudufhadzo Musida, will deliver the keynote address. Musida, an advocate for mental health awareness and the empowerment of womxn and children, recently graduated with an honours degree in international relations from Wits University. Our Executive Director: Research, Dr Linda Mtwisha, will give closing remarks.

Recipients of the For Womxn By Womxn research grants – Professor Janet Hapgood, Dr Katye Altieri and Dr Robyn Pickering – will update us on their exciting research projects. These range from contraception and HIV risk of womxn in sub-Saharan Africa, building capacity in the field of oceanography for black South African womxn, and transforming the field of palaeoanthropology. Some of their students will share the work they have been doing during the lockdown to advance social responsiveness and internationalisation.

To add to the celebratory ambiance on this momentous day, there will be a musical performance by Lady Day Big Band, featuring Lana Crowster. They’ll perform a vintage pop medley, including South African hits like Burn Out by Sipho ‘Hotstix’ Mabuse, Umqombothi by Yvonne Chaka Chaka and Weekend Special by Brenda Fassie.

I encourage you to please join us, as we not only celebrate phenomenal womxn at UCT but also collectively take stock of and recognise how far we have come as a country by showing commitment towards achieving the aims and aspirations of all South African womxn.

When: Tuesday, 10 August 2021
Time: 13:00 SAST
Platform: Microsoft Teams

Please register online to attend the virtual event.


Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng

Read previous communications:

Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Please view the republishing articles page for more information.