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The 2014 commemoration of Women’s Month holds special significance for residents of Johannesburg.

Exactly 60 years ago, the Federation of South African Women (Fedsaw) was formed in our city, uniting women from different communities, races and socio-economic backgrounds in a shared opposition to the system of apartheid.

The adoption of the Women’s Charter in Johannesburg in 1954, was a historical chapter in our country’s history, leading to the formulation of the Freedom Charter a year later, the historic Women’s March, the resistance campaign and the eventual transition to democracy 40 years later.

Today, the current generation of Johannesburg residents can honour the memory of the pioneers of the women’s movement, and also celebrate the significant gains we have made during the first two decades of democracy.

As a City, we believe the best way to honour the contribution of women is to commit ourselves to an even better future, where all the people of Johannesburg can share equally in opportunities to develop, grow and prosper.

Our new Jozi@work initiative is designed to create such an environment. We have launched a bold initiative through which job-seekers can be turned into job-makers, by their participation in a new model of service delivery.

Many of these new neighbourhood cooperatives and micro-enterprises will consist of women who will be able to use the income generated to sustain their families and communities. Through Jozi@work, the City is delivering on the objectives of the 1954 Women’s Charter to ensure full opportunities and equal rights for all our citizens.

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