NATIONAL NEWS - National Women's Day, 9 August, is an annual public holiday in South Africa.
The holiday commemorates the national march of women on this day in 1956 to petition against legislation that required African persons to carry the 'pass'.
The 'pass' was an identification document which restricted a black South African's freedom of movement under apartheid. the pass allowed them to enter 'white' areas. The 'pass' had come into force under the Urban Areas Act (commonly known as the pass laws) of 1950.
On August 9, 1956, 20,000 women staged a march to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to protest against proposed amendments to the act. They left petitions containing more than 100,000 signatures at prime minister J.G. Strijdom's office door. They stood silently outside his door for 30 minutes.
The women then sang a protest song that was composed in honour of the occasion: Wathint'Abafazi Wathint'imbokodo! (Now you have touched the women, you have struck a rock.).
Posted on: 07:00 Wed, 09 August 2017
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