Happy Women’s Day ….remember 9 August 1956

Until this year I did not know what “women’s day” was really about.  Not sure why, I just didn’t.

Please take a few moments to “think” of the women that gave their lives/freedom and safety for some of our rights we value today.

I saw this description on this blog – and thought it was nicely said.

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.

I can’t really improve on that explanation ……

As usual Zapiro says it like no else ……

Leave a comment


  1. Julz

     /  August 9, 2011

    I remember us hiding our maid in our garage when the police raided at night. She had no pass.

    Thank you for this.

    • reluctantmom

       /  August 10, 2011

      I had two incidents as well with our maid and the pass laws – funny at the time as a child it all seemed so normal ….. but scarey.

  2. What a fascinating series of pictures. Thank you.


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