On 9 August we celebrate Women’s Day. This day is such an iconic milestone for everyone in our country. It is a day where we celebrate being women and has also become a day of awareness, particularly of women and child abuse and female equality. But while we do this, let’s also remember why we celebrate Women’s Day on this particular day.
The original Women’s Day in 1956 is about four friends and activists, and 20 000 other women who marched to the Union Buildings to hand over a petition against our country’s pass laws.
The leaders of the march were Lilian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Rahima Moosa and Sophia Williams. The women left 14 000 petitions at the office doors of prime minister J.G. Strijdom. They stood silently for 30 minutes and then started singing a protest song that was composed in honour of the occasion – Wathint’Abafazi Wathint’imbokodo! (Translated: Now you have touched the women, you have struck a rock.) It must have been a bone-chilling moment. In the years since, the phrase “you strike a woman, you strike a rock” has come to represent women’s courage and strength in South Africa.
The first National Women’s Day was celebrated on 9 August 1995. In 2006, a re-enactment of the march was staged for its 50th anniversary, with many of the 1956 march veterans standing side by side again.
A GIRL NEEDS A BUDDY
Just like these women stood side by side, I want to celebrate my friends on Women’s Day. I’m lucky to have a few special friends that I know I can count on no matter what. They will rush to my aid when I need them, give me a hug when I’m down, and make me laugh like a kid.
Every woman needs a friend, a partner in crime, an amigo. A buddy to share a bottle of wine with. Someone to share a beautiful day with, and someone who will stand with you when the wind is howling and the rain is pouring. We all need a friend that will laugh with you when times are good and will come storming in with shovels and a tow truck when you’re stuck in a jam. Life can be beautiful, but sometimes life can be a b!tch. Make sure you have a (beautifully manicured) hand to grab on to when you need it.
Call your friends on Women’s Day, and tell them how much they mean to you. Because South African Women’s Day would not have existed without four brave friends: Lilian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Rahima Moosa and Sophia Williams.
MARCH LEADER SOPHIA WILLIAMS-DE BRUYN INTERVIEW
(RELATED POST: INSPIRATIONAL WOMEN OF FASHION)