What are we celebrating?
1956 Women's March
On 9 August 1956, more than 20 000 South African women of all races staged a march on the Union Buildings in protest against the proposed amendments to the Urban Areas Act of 1950, commonly referred to as the "pass laws". The march was led by Lilian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Rahima Moosa and Sophia Williams. Other participants included Frances Baard, a statue of whom was unveiled by Northern Cape Premier Hazel Jenkins inKimberley (Frances Baard District Municipality) on National Women's Day 2009.The women left bundles of petitions containing more than 100 000 signatures at the office doors of prime minister J.G. Strijdom. The women stood silently for 30 minutes, singing 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.
And as you see, this is plenty to be celebrating for because together, we stand strong!