Twenty thousand South African women of various ethnicities marched on Pretoria’s Union Buildings to protest the Urban Area Act in 1956. The legislation required ‘non-whites’ to carry identification documents. Demonstrators sang a song which included the line “wathint’ abafazi, wathint’ imbokodo.” (you strike women, you strike a rock) and delivered bundles of petitions for the Prime Minister.
In honour of this collective stance, August 9 was declared a public holiday in South Africa in 1994 – National Women’s Day.
TBWA\Hunt Lascaris, Johannesburg, South Africa
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