Human Rights Day: A Tribute and Reminder in South Africa

March 21, 2019

Human Rights Day is celebrated annually on March 21st in South Africa. The day is commemorated to remind South Africans of the sacrifices and struggles to achieve democracy in South Africa.

Historically, the day honors and commemorates what happened on March 21st in 1960, when 69 citizens died and 180 were wounded when police officers fired on a peaceful crowd who gathered in protest against the Pass Laws, a system designed to segregate the population in South Africa. This day is looked back on as an iconic date as a reminder of the lives lost for human rights. Under Apartheid, the majority of South African citizens were denied human rights. This day reinforces and reminds South Africans of their commitment to ensure all citizens are given the rights innocent citizens lost their lives for.

The RTI Global Gender Center’s work focuses on promoting gender equality, with the understanding that it a critical element of achieving human rights for everyone, regardless of their background. Our experts’ research and work highlights the priority of integrating gender equality and human rights approaches. Our work in South Africa continues to target gender inequalities, highlighting the importance of collaboration.

Last year, during the Ending Gender Inequalities Conference held in Johannesburg, South Africa, Dr. Wendee Wechsberg emphasized the collective effort required to end gender inequalities. “Ending gender inequalities is the responsibility of all global citizens. We’re here to share collective wisdom, voices, to increase understanding and raise visibility. Our goal is to foster collaborations, exchange what we’ve learned, and become great agents of change.”

Check out more of our gender-focused work in South Africa here.