Lifestyle

Womens Day: Back To Basics

As I was browsing through social media coming across ‘Happy women’s day’ posts, the men and women I saw earlier this morning running a race in commemoration of women’s day crossed my mind. I felt a bit guilty that people are actually doing something constructive on this day and I was sitting there stuffing my face with a RocoMamas burger and chips. And after I had a conversation with a friend earlier about this day he confessed he doesn’t really know how women’s day came about. I realised that as much as I knew that women’s day was about woman power and upliftment. So many of us still do not have a clue of the significance of this day and those that do are so quick to forget. We see women’s day as just another public holiday to catch up on some sleep or on one more episode of Game of Thrones. 

I won’t lie I’ve never really been a huge fan of History myself. I actually remember getting an F once on a test in school because I didn’t understand why we as South Africans had to learn about the French revolution or Hitler. But after reading up about the history of women’s day today I think that might change. I finally realise how important history is (even if it’s about other countries), it teaches us about where we come from and how certain things came to be. Without much further ado I would like to give you a brief history of what I have learnt today about August the 9th. 

August the 9th is a very important day that went down in history as the emancipation of South African women. In the year 1956 before you and I were born, thousands of women from all over the country came together as one unit to fight tirelessly against the oppression of the Apartheid government. I’m talking White, Indian and our Black mothers and sisters who carried the children of their white bosses on their backs. They fought through a peaceful march to the Union Buildings in Pretoria which were led by activists by the names Lilian Ngoyi, Sophia Williams, Helen Joseph and Albertina Sisulu whose names you might have seen on street signs or healthcare facilities.

Just in case I’ve lost you, the march was done to rise up against the legislations that require black South Africans to carry the “pass”. These women drew up petitions which were dropped off at doors of the Prime Minister’s office containing more than a thousand signatures from them. As they stood silently for about 30 minutes waiting on a verdict a song was composed in honour of the occasion that sang “Wathinti’Abafazi Wathint’imbokodo”, which I’ve just recently learned means “You’ve touched women, you have struck a rock”. It was these displays of political strength of different courageous women standing in solidarity and resilience to fight for what they believed in that has made this day, August the 9th go down in the books of history.

Today so many other women continue to show this display of strength and resilience in their lifestyles. Wether it’s by working a 9-5 or uplifting another sister. They strive each day despite any setbacks they encounter to prove why they matter and why women as a whole have equal rights as men do.

What does it mean to you to be a woman or what thoughts do you have about the strong women in your life, please share your thoughts by commenting below.

Images courtesy of Twitter @womensmarch

7 thoughts on “Womens Day: Back To Basics”

  1. Women’s day is really deeper than one can imagine, I myself had no idea what it was about, but a memory of what i was once taught in high school flashed in my mind and it all came back that it was because of the selfless march the women embarked on with the key objective of emancipation from the oppressors limiting and bounding them with pass books.This is a very insightful piece and I hope that a lot of people especially the young women learn and understand the significance of this day. Power to Women amandla awenu, Wathint’ abafazi wathint’ imbhokodo.

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    1. I believe the only way today’s young generation can learn more about women’s day or anything within the history of South Africa is if our education system included more of it within their syllabus. That way they can get more in depth information about their roots. Thank you for your comment Victor…

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      1. I domt believe it’s the education system that’s flawed when it comes to history, I think it’s our mere ignorance that causes us to be so out of tune with such concepts and knowledge.

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  2. We are so lucky to be walking amongst greatness, the greatness that is Women. I, personally(excuse the redundancy) have come across the greatest women who have moulded and shaped me to the man that I am and Lord knows, how difficult that must have been for them but they pushed through making me the best version of myself, this goes to show that women have the greatest strength, they have a godlike strength. These women marched all the way to claim victory and succeeded because they knew what their vision was.We see women every single day fighting our patriarch society and they are claiming victory and this is the new vision I can’t wait to see fulfilled.Through all the slander and abuse women face everyday it’s quite shocking how they can still take charge, show greatness and make look easy. I’m honoured as a man to have the women in my life because without them I wouldn’t be who I am today. They are Gods. Fantastic post.

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    1. I always find it so beautiful hearing about women from a man’s perspective. The women in your life sound really phenomenal and you are indeed very fortunate to have them in your life. The fact that they’re actually willing to take their time to mould and shape you as a man makes it even more awesome. Beacause i’ve heard about a lot of other women make comments such as they don’t work in construction so they don’t have the time to be building a man… Thank you for your comment Wandile

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  3. This is excellent, very informative. It’s important to realize the role that women played in fighting the struggle, I just wish, and I really do wish that every single man would learn to respect and protect women all the time, 365, not just on this historic month. Happy women’s month to all the women out there. Great article Mimi.

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    1. The day that all men begin respecting women and having their backs will be a great day to witness. More men from our generation should begin stepping up and setting examples for the younger boys. Thanx for the comment

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