Charlotte Maxeke's generation's struggle for women's rights was not in vain, Minister for Woman, Children and people with Disabilities Lulu Xingwana said on Saturday.
"We owe her generation gratitude, we would not be able to pay back in our life time," she said at an ANC Women's League (ANCWL) street name change ceremony.
The ANCWL was kicking off its women's month celebration by remembering and honouring the founder of the women's rights movement in South Africa, Charlotte Maxeke.
One of Bloemfontein's main street's Maitland Street was renamed to Charlotte Maxeke Street as part of the celebrations.
The name change was approved by the Mangaung Metro recently.
Xingwana said significant progress had been made to women empowerment in the new South Africa.
"Women were sitting in high profile positions in government."
She said due to work started by Maxeke's generation South Africa had some of the most progressive laws relating to women empowerment in the world.
Xingwana said there were however some problems with implementation of the laws.
In loving memory
She said the economic empowerment of women, access to the labour market and land were issues still needing attention.
Gender related violence was also an area to be addressed.
Home Affairs Minister and newly appointed African Union Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma was also warmly welcomed at the street naming event.
President Jacob Zuma, who was expected at the unveiling ceremony, did not attend. He was at another event in KwaZulu-Natal.
The ANCWL delegates at Hoffman Square moved from the street renaming site to the Callie Human Centre at the University of the Free State for further women's month celebrations.
Zuma was to deliver the fifth annual Charlotte Maxeke Memorial lecture in Bloemfontein later on Saturday.
The lecture will honour the life of the ANCWL stalwart. – Sapa.