THE RIGHTS OF WOMEN  have not always been easily obtained. Dr Dawn Gould

This has not only been a South African female problem but a world wide one. In South Africa in 1923 a law was passed that allowed women to practice law.

BERTHA SOLOMON became one of the first of such women. It did not take her long to recognize the legal disabilities from which local women suffered. She also became one of the first individuals to begin the fight to change matters.

The Suffrage Movement had managed to obtain the franchise for women in 1930 but sadly only for white women.  The very, very slow political changes re female equality had begun.

In 1933 Bertha Solomon became involved in politics moving from the Transvaal Provincial Council until 1958 when she retired as a United Party Member of Parliament. Her voice was constantly heard particularly regarding South African Marriage Laws. She drew the attention of the then Prime Minister, General Jan Smuts, suggesting he created a commission to look into the status of women.  However before any change took place there was, in 1948, a change of government. Enormous patience was required by all fighting to get “Bertha’s Bill’ passed but in August 1943 the Matrimonial Affairs Act was passed into law.  Again another seemingly step forward for women’s rights but still not equal for all our women.  The changes would only come years later.