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Womens Day 2018

9 August is marked as a public holiday in South Africa

The public holiday is in commemoration of the famous 1956 march of 20,000 women to the Union Buildings in Pretoria. The women marched in protest against the pass laws, which required people designated as “black” by the South African government to apply for a travel pass just for travel within South Africa. The purpose was to maintain segregation and control migrant labour, all part of the general apartheid policy of the time.

Women of all ethnic groups were outraged and indignant about these travel restrictions as well as about apartheid in general. They petitioned the government to change these policies, stood silently in protest for half an hour outside the capital complex, and sang a song that included the now-famous words, “You strike the women, you strike a rock!” Leaders of the movement included: Lilian Ngoyi, Sophia Williams, Rahima Moosa, and Helen Joseph. They bravely risked arrest to promote real change, and their efforts eventually paid off.

In 1994, after democratic government came to South Africa, National Women’s Day was first celebrated. A re-enactment was made on the march’s 50th anniversary, and many of the original “real marchers” were present.

Today, speeches abound on National Women’s Day, particularly noting the progress of women in all walks of life in South Africa. For example, in 1994, women constituted less than 3% of the South African parliament, while today, they make up over 40% of that body. Additionally, note that all of the month of August is used to celebrate South African women and their accomplishments, so the events are not strictly limited to National Women’s Day on August 9th.

SABC3 in celebration of remarkable women, shares posts from Beautiful News which highlight inspirational stories of South African women while encouraging ordinary citizens to part take in doing good and reaching out to others.

Follow Kitty Phetla's story here.

Source: Online [ https://publicholidays.net.za/national-womens-day]

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