Monday, January 18, 2016

Republic of South Africa 2015
Women's Charter

ISSUE DATE: 12 August 2015
CIRCULATION: 50 000 sheets
STAMP/SHEET SIZE: 36 x 36 mm / 105 x 65 mm
 STAMP DESIGN: Sheila Collins

The Women's Charter signed on 17 April 1954 was a major milestone in South Africa's history, which helped to shape the future of our people. Significantly, the Women's Charter preceded the Freedom Charter of 1955 and influenced the content and spirit of the 1994 Women's Charter for Effective Equality, as well as the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa of 1996.

The Women's Charter was signed at the launch of the Federation of South African Women (FEDSAW) in Johannesburg. The Federation was the brainchild of Rachel (Ray) Simons, a trade unionist and member of the Communist Party and Hilda Bernstein a member of the Johannesburg city council who drew in other women such as Helen Joseph, Lillian Ngoyi and Amina Cachalia who formed the steering committee for the organisation. FEDSAW united the ANC Women's League, the women's wing of the Coloured People's Congress of South Africa, the South African Indian Congress and the Congress of Democrats, a number of other organisations joined at a later stage. Dora Tamana was elected as President and Ray Simons as the first Secretary of FEDSAW.
Among other things, FEDSAW supported the Bantu Education boycotts and campaigned against rent increases, housing problems and passes for women.

The Women`s Charter, written at the first conference, called for the enfranchisement of men and women of all races; equality of opportunity in employment; equal pay for equal work; equal rights in relation to property, marriage and children; and the removal of all laws and customs that denied women such equality. The Charter further demanded paid maternity leave, childcare for working mothers, and free and compulsory education for all South African children. Sentiments expressed in the Charter are still worth striving towards achieving even now in 2015.

Stamp images and description thanks to South African Post Office

South African Post Office COLLECTORZPEDIA