AUGUST IN SOUTH AFRICA
Womens Day 9 August
(You strike the women, you strike a rock!)
These words will forever be a part of August in South Africa.
August is an important month of the year for a few reasons. We highlight issues faced by women and mark the beginning of Spring.
On the 9th of August 1957, 20,000 women marched to the Union Buildings and sang this song – Wathint’ Abafazi, Wathint’ Imbokodo!
Passes for women was the issue at the time and hence these women marched to protest this law. Women marched in an orderly fashion on a Thursday, when most domestic workers had leave. A specially composed song, with the lyrics above, was sang and silence was held for half an hour. The feeling in the air was powerful and motivating as described in some reports online.
Womens day is celebrated on the 9th of August in South Africa in order to remember the meaningful march in 1957.
Governments started grating women the right to vote in the 1800s with white South Africans being able to vote in 1930. Only in 1994, could all South African women vote. Many difficult challenges regarding rights and equality have been faced by women which have made women strong and resilient. These qualities are essential for leadership and perserverence. The struggle for equal rights is not over and if we take a brief look at the Top 40 JSE listed companies, only one company has a female CEO. Excercising the demons of the past can take a long time, yet progress has been made in leaps and strides.
Women are still oppressed in many cultures but as women are educated and thus empowered, this attitude changes.
We can celebrate the beginning Spring in August. Imbolc is observed on the 1st of August as a Celtic fire festival marking the land’s preparation for Spring. As a result, this time is honoured for poetry, healing, metal work, a time to fight for social and political change, regain enthusiam, and declare independence. Lighting candles is symbolic for personal changes we will experience in the year.
SETTING THE SCENE FOR AUGUST
Consequently, let’s remember the struggle of our predecessors and also remember that women before us, fought for the rights we enjoy today. More importantly, women and men must defend them these rights and always consider ourselves equal to the other sexes. Let’s reignite our spirits and feed our desire for justice in the world.