The Progressive Women’s Movement of South Africa (PWMSA) is a registered Not-for-Profit Organisation which was launched in Bloemfontein on August 8, 2006. The Movement was launched to coincide with the 50th Anniversary of the 1956 March of 20 000 South African women to the Union Buildings to protest against the carrying of passes by women.

Membership of the PWMSA is comprised of more than 35 national multi-sectoral organisations and institutions and includes women representing civil society, labour, faith-based organisations, political parties, business, arts and culture and professional bodies.

PWMSA was created because women’s experiences were that despite the democratic dispensation, the degree of socio-political and economic progress was slow for women. Even those women who benefited from the democracy were still confronted by the huge obstacle of patriarchy and all it represents in society.

While acknowledging the gains made through enabling policies and legislation, women felt that there was still a need for them to once again speak with one voice. There was a need for an inclusive body to address their concerns using a single platform of action irrespective of race, class, religion, political and social standing.



PWMSA’S constituency comprises all the women of South Africa, particularly women from historically disadvantaged communities in informal settlements, peri-urban and rural areas. Some of these organisations include the following, ANCWL, COSATU, SANCO, SACP, CGE, SAWID, DPSA, SACC and other faith based and traditional healer’s organisations.

The Movement


To promote the transformation of South African society into one that is truly non-racial and non-sexist, through advancing women’s socio-economic, political and cultural conditions.


  • To defend the practical and strategic gains that the women of South Africa have made through the selfless sacrifices of both sung and unsung heroines of the struggle, by implementing different programmes, activities and campaigns;
  • To identify and address the impediments to women achieving socio-economic, political and cultural greatness;
  • To fight poverty through facilitating job creation opportunities especially for marginalised women, including poor, black, rural and disabled women;
  • To ensure that economic and social governance programmes are responsive to the needs of women and accountable to all the people of South Africa;
  • To unite women of South Africa in diversity, in understanding and in action, so that there is a minimum platform of action that facilitates a united front.


Progressive Women’s Movement Of South Africa

Prof Hlengiwe Mkhize


Hlengiwe Buhle Mkhize MP is a former Minister of Higher Education and Training, having been appointed to the position by former President Jacob Zuma since 17 October 2017, after previously serving as Deputy Minister of Telecommunications and Postal Services in the government of South Africa

Ms. Zingiswa Losi


Zingiswa Losi is a South African politician and a member of the African National Congress Losi is also the first female president of the Congress of South African Trade Unions