Monday, July 26, 2010

Women's Day, South Africa

Have you ever wondered why we celebrate Women’s Day on the 9th August and what makes this day so special to South Africans?

It was on the 9th of August in 1956, 53 years ago, that the Federation of South African Women organized a mass demonstration against the imposition of pass laws on women in South Africa. More than 20,000 women, led by Lilian Ngoyi (a trade unionist and political activist), Helen Joseph, Albertina Sisulu, and Sophia Williams-De Bruyn, took part in the multi-racial march to the Union Buildings in Pretoria, to deliver a petition to the prime minister JG Strijdom.

The pass laws meant that all black people were to carry a special “pass” or identification document which they had to produce to prove they were permitted to enter a certain area designated for white people. This was a major law of the apartheid regime and greatly restricted the freedom of movement of black people.
National Women’s Day celebrations were instituted in 1994. The 50th anniversary of the march in 2006 was marked with a re-enactment, with many who participated in the original march taking part.

Now, each year on the 9th of August, South Africans of all backgrounds, races and cultural groups join together in celebrating National Women’s Day. This annual public holiday commemorates an eventful day in South Africa’s history – 9 August 1956.

National Women’s Day in South Africa is held in high esteem and is a reminder of the important contributions women make to society, as well as a time to ponder the advances in women’s rights.

Embrace being a woman! Celebrate Women's Day with us! Gift in a Box has a wonderful selection of gift hampers and gift baskets for that special woman. View our webpage for full details,


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