JOHANNESBURG – “On 9 August 1956, more than 20 000 South African women of all races staged a march to the Union Buildings in protest against the proposed amendments to the Urban Area Act of 1950, commonly referred to as the “pass laws”. The women left 14 000 petitions at the office doors of the Prime Minister. The women stood silently outside for thirty minutes and then started singing a protest song that was composed in honor of the occasion: Wathint’Abafanzi Wathint’imbokodo! (Now you have touched the women, you have struck a rock!) 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. “
Women, The Legacy
This was indeed a remarkable day in South African history! Women, they came together for a purpose and made their voices heard!
If you go on to read the events that followed, after much protesting and persistence, the laws were renounced and women were no longer enslaved with the ‘pass law’
But what does this mean to the modern-day woman? How can we keep the legacy of courage and strength? In a world where the “pass laws” no longer exist and where the slavery of women takes the forms of gender inequality, patriarchy, misogyny, sexual harassment, and domestic violence, to name a few. These are challenges women have endured for centuries and its time we protest against these too.
We face challenges today that have enslaved us in similar ways. Challenges that we have the power to overcome. Its time we protest too!
That protest, my darling Queens, begins with YOU!
YOU who are trying so hard to be a perfect Mother, you are perfect! – Let’s protest!
YOU who doesn’t have the courage to walk away, you can! – Let’s protest!
YOU who feel ugly and need to lose weight, you are beautiful – Let’s protest!
YOU who sits by the phone waiting for him to contact you, send yourself flowers – Let’s protest!
YOU who feels inadequate and rejected because you didn’t get the job you wanted- there’s a better opportunity on its way! – Let’s protest!
YOU who are looking for love and it seems hopeless, he’s coming and it will have its challenges so enjoy your time alone – Let’s protest!
YOU who have lost your self worth as a woman because you can’t bear a child, you are worthy and valued and could never be less of a woman – Lets protest!
YOU who failed a subject on your exam and couldn’t complete your degree, it’s never too late! – Let’s protest!
The Power of a Woman
Because if we do not find the strength and courage to protest against the negative thought, we will never find the freedom to embrace the power of being a woman. The woman who has that same innate courage and power and strength those 20 000 women had all those years ago. Let’s honor them today by standing together.
Let’s Love. Empower. Encourage. Celebrate. Embrace. Educate and Inspire, in doing this we raise a new generation, a new society where these challenges no longer have power.
The courage to love yourself. The courage to celebrate yourself. The courage to know yourself and your worth. The courage to fight your battles with kindness and humility. The courage to be free. Because these are the protests of the modern-day women!