August 09th was National Women’s Day in South Africa, which is an annual public holiday and honors the national march of women. On this day in 1956, more than 50,000 women staged a march on the Union Buildings in Pretoria to protest against the proposed amendments to the Urban Area Acts (commonly known as the pass laws). They left bundles of petitions containing more than 100,000 signatures at the Prime Minister’s office doors and stood outside silently for 30 minutes; many with their children on their backs. The women sang a protest song, “Wathint’Abafazi Wathint’imbokodo! (Now you have touched the women, you have struck a rock)! In the years since, this phrase has come to represent women’s courage and strength in South Africa.
Since Women’s Day is a national holiday, there were a great number of businesses closed on this day. So on this day, we did what we usually do and went to the Waterfront. And boy was it packed! We spent the rest of the day studying for our Mid-term that we were going to take the next day.