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SA celebrates brave women generation of 1956


August the 9th marks a special day in the history of South African women as the southern African state commemorates the national march of women against the carrying of a pass in the then apartheid South Africa.
Speaking at the backdrop of the International day of women on his official twitter handle, South Africa President Ramaphosa said,
“Let us be the generation that ends the oppression of women in all its forms, in our lifetime. The brave generation of 1956 marched for us all. We owe it to them, to ourselves and to future generations to not betray this noble legacy.”
The ‘pass’ was an identification document which restricted a black South African’s freedom of movement under apartheid. The pass allowed them to enter ‘white’ areas draconian law had come into force under the Urban Areas Act (commonly known as the pass laws) of 1950.
On August 9th 1956, 20,000 women staged a march to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to protest against proposed amendments to the act. They left petitions containing more than 100,000 signatures at prime minister J.G. Strijdom’s office door. They stood silently outside his door for 30 minutes.
The women then 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.).
The National Women’s Day which was first commemorated as a national holiday in 1995 and now celebrated every August is dedicated to women and is marked by several government events such as a trade fair for women’s crafts and labour issues.
This year’s commemorations were done under the global campaign theme for women “Generation Equality: Realising women’s rights for an equal future”.
In recognition of the role of women in South Africa in a virtual address, President Ramaphosa said that at least 40% of government procurement will be reserved for businesses that are owned by women?
On the same vein Ramaphosa on twitter wrote , “South Africa has been announced as Global Leader for the #GenrationEquality Action Coalition on Economic Justice & Rights.”
Liberty Pazvakawambwa SADC News Correspondent


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