Woman’s day in S.A.

On August the 9th every year South Africa celebrates Woman’s day.  After spending some years away from the country I have found that I now question some things that I used to take for granted – like why we didn’t celebrate womans day in Europe?  With the help of Wikipedia I found the following information:

National Women’s Day is an annual public holiday in South Africa on August 9. This commemorates the national march of women on this day in 1956 to petition against legislation that required African persons to carry the “pass”, special identification documents which curtailed an African’s freedom of movement during the apartheid era.

On 9 August 1956, 20 000 women staged a march on the Union Buildings in Pretoria to protest against the proposed amendments to the Urban Areas Act (commonly known as the pass laws) of 1950. They left bundles of petitions containing more than 100 000 signatures at prime minister J.G. Strijdom’s office doors. Outside they stood silently for 30 minutes, many with their children on their backs. Those who were working for Whites as nannies were carrying their white charges with them. The women sang a protest song that was composed in honour of the occasion: Wathint’Abafazi Wathint’imbokodo! (Now you have touched the women, you have struck a rock.). In the 54 years since, the phrase (or its latest incarnation: “you strike a woman, you strike a rock“) has come to represent women’s courage and strength in South Africa.

Now I may be generalizing, but I think most white women in South Africa don’t know this – I didn’t.  Maybe it’s just me – I have never paid much interest in politics or public holidays – as long as I could get a day off work or school I was happy (really fickle).  When I read up on some of these things I embarrass myself when I realise how ignorant one can be about things around you.

I believe some other countries also celebrate Woman’s day in March – obviously for a different reason. Anyone know what that reason is?

I  celebrated this Woman’s day by spending 3 days in the bush in the company of 5 fantastic, strong girls/women.

We laughed and ate so much – it was awesome.

{photo’s courtesy of Daliah}

5 thoughts on “Woman’s day in S.A.

  1. How cool is that??!! Not only “Women’s Day,” and the sentiment of Women = Rock (aka Strength), but also how you spent it!

    Love it! Thank you for sharing 🙂


  2. Pingback: Happy Women’s Day ….remember 9 August 1956 « The Reluctant Mom's Blog

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