Celebrating African women on Aug. 9: Women's Day
On August 9, 1956, 20,000 South African women participated in a national march to protest pass laws designed by the White-minority Apartheid government to control the movement of Blacks. The marchers brought petitions signed by over 100,000 women opposed to the laws, which required them to carry pass books that could be checked at any time by police. (photo by Jurgen Schadeberg, from Art Aids Art's traveling exhibit).
On the way to protest at the Union Buildings, the women sang the following freedom song:
Wathint’ abafazi, wathint’ imbokodo, uza kufa!
[When] you strike the women, you strike a rock, you will be crushed [you will die]!
Since 1994, August 9 has been recognized as National Women’s Day in South Africa. Art Aids Art solutes the spirit of these courageous women as a reminder that we must all continuously work toward social justice for all people.