This Women's Month, Iziko Museums of South Africa invites both local and international visitors to explore and reflect on women's contribution to our history, art, and culture. Enjoy free access to Iziko Museums on Women's Day.
"On national Women's Day, Iziko Museums of South Africa celebrates the contribution of women to the arts and culture sector. Women have made firm advancements in various fields including science, technology, visual arts, and leadership positions, and they continue to make meaningful strides in contributing to the South African cultural economy. As we celebrate 20 years of democracy and freedom, Iziko continues to recognise women's contribution to all spheres of our South African heritage," says Rooksana Omar, CEO of Iziko Museums.
This year, the Department of Arts and Culture's theme for Women's Month is: "Celebrating 60th Anniversary of the Women's Charter and 20 Years of Freedom: Together moving a non-racial, non-sexist South Africa forward". Women's Day commemorates 9 August 1956, when 20 000 women of all races marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to present a petition against the carrying of passes. The day has since come to represent the bravery and courage of South African women. The anniversary of the Women's Charter, adopted in 1954, takes place against the backdrop of 20 Years of Freedom, and recognises the significant progress made in achieving equal rights for women in South Africa.
Several Iziko Museums relay stories of courage, leadership, and compassion. There's something I must tell you, on display at the Iziko Slave Lodge, documents conversations between six female activists and their 'Born Free' granddaughters. Many of the activists in this exhibition participated in the 1956 march to the Union Buildings. Curated by Sue Williamson, this inter-generational dialogue creates a much needed discussion around the meaning of democracy and the importance of active citizenship.
For the fashion enthusiasts, The Story of IsiShweshwe: Material Women?, on display at the Iziko Slave Lodge, deals with the origins, history and uses of isishweshwe, and its uniquely important place in the evolution of identity, dress and community in southern Africa.
A visit to the Iziko South African National Gallery (ISANG) promises visitors a contemplative and reflective experience. Brave New World ...20 Years of Democracy, commemorates this major milestone through a selection of works from ISANG's Permanent Collection, acquired between 1994 and 2014. Discover a variety of works by talented female artists such as Mary Sibande, Gabrielle Goliath, Zanele Muholi, Jane Alexander and Noria Mombasa, among others.
Visit the Iziko South African Museum and be amazed and delighted by our Natural History collections and exhibitions. See Suchomimus, a female African dinosaur, stalking her prey. Uncover the inner workings of Mother Earth through the interactive Gaiasphere, and discover the important role played by female wasps in our ecosystem. At the Iziko Planetarium, explore the wonders of the universe and learn how to locate Venus, the planet named after the ancient Roman goddess of love.
* Free entry only at Iziko South African Museum, South African National Gallery, Slave Lodge, Bo-Kaap Museum, Maritime Centre and Groot Constantia Manor House, excluding the Planetarium and Castle of Good Hope. (Iziko Rust en Vreugd, Bertram House, Koopmans-de Wet, and Michaelis Collection at the Old Townhouse are closed on Saturdays).