Reflecting on Women’s Day
By Celeste O’Connor
It’s that time of the year when the women of South Africa get adorned with flowers, chocolates, and sweet gestures by their male counterparts. Yup August is here ladies! Many of us can’t wait to be off school and work on Thursday 9th of August and perhaps even the 10th of August too. Many of us will be staying up late on Wednesday night watching movies, chatting to friends and not opening a book because the long weekend we anticipated at the beginning of July has finally arrived.
But let us not forget why we are sleeping in; why women and men across the country will be giving speeches commemorating this day. This blog is in honor of the women who have struggled for women’s rights in South Africa, and across the world. It’s for the women who continue to make a difference in our lives every day. It’s for the women who have made their mark.
I must admit that I had to do some research regarding the historical event which happened on 9 August 1956. So follow me through a brief history lesson.
A song which started with the words ‘Strijdom, you have tampered with the women, You have struck a rock.’ marks the historical occasion. Women from all parts of South Africa and from diverse backgrounds joined the Pretoria (now Tshwane) March.
The Women’s March was to mark women taking ownership and refusing to comply with the oppressive apartheid laws. Women had for a long time been trying to change their inferiority status but they had always reached the typical stereotype and binary role of being politically incompetent and that their role is within the home. These women showed the world how outdated the stereotype of women is.
When you are waking up at 10am or 11am on 9th August take time to reflect on the significance on this day and do something special for the women in and around your life.