Have you ever wondered why we celebrate Womens Day on the 9th August in South Africa? It has nothing to do with honouring women just because we need another “Mother’s Day”. This day commemorates the 9 August 1956 when women participating in a national march petitioned against pass laws.
On this day in 1956, over 20 000 women of all races and ages from every corner of South Africa marched together towards the Union Buildings in Pretoria. These brave women were marching in protest against the pass laws that proposed even further restrictions on the movements of women.
Organised by the Federation of South African Women, the March was led by four brave women; Helen Joseph, Rahima Moosa, Sophie Williams and Lilian Ngoyi. The leaders delivered petitions to Prime Minister JG Strijdom’s office within the Union Buildings in Pretoria.
The march was a resounding success and South Africa recognises the bravery of these women who risked arrest, detention and banning by declaring 9 August National Women’s Day.