Happy woman’s day

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National Women’s Day is a South African public holiday celebrated annually on 9 August. In this day in 1956, approximately 20 000 women went on a march to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to petition against the country’s pass laws that required South Africans defined as “black” under The Population Registration Act to carry an internal passport, known as a pass, that served to maintain population segregation, control urbanisation, and manage migrant labour during the apartheid era. The first National Women’s Day was celebrated on 9 August 1994.

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 and then started 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.

POEM-THE DESTINY PRESERVER

She was regarded as weak,

But in boldness and bravery she marched.

They together held placards,

and went to fight for the destiny of the nation.

white, black, coloured was put aside.

They were one and together they made an impact.

They were considered weak,

But today we hold not a dompass.

They were underestimated,

But today we hold not a dompass.

They had no weapons,

Only a combination of singing voices against division in the nation.

Today we rise in power as the modern women.

Because of them who were kept in the kitchens to cook,

kept in the house to clean

And kept in the yard to wash.

They stood and fought,

Today I can go to town without any permit from anyone.

They are the rock of all nations,

Women,

the destiny preservers.

Happy National Women’s Day 09th August 2016

 

 

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