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.