Mrs Sisulu (centre) and executive members of the Natal Organisation of Women at the launch of NOW


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Private Collection, Omar badsha

The Natal Organisation of Women was formed in December 1983 as one of the affiliates of the UDF. From as early as 1980 women from Durban had been coming together on an annual basis to commemorate August 9th (now National Women's day). The organizers of the August 9th events discussed the need for an ongoing programme that would unite women and deal with women's issues. In December 1983 NOW was formed. The first president was Pumzile Mlambo (later to become South Africa's first female deputy president)