Unity begets bravery and strength.
– Auntie Mary, member of the 1913 anti-pass regime
The rights of women in South Africa have had a turbulent past and we acknowledge their struggle throughout the month of August by promoting meaningful giving Opportunities in our Women’s Month Campaign. To better understand the purpose of Women’s Day, we’ve put together a brief history of the events leading up to the infamous march that took place 9 August, 52 years ago.
In 1913, a pass system requiring women in urban townships to purchase a monthly pass had been enforced, resulting in a march of about 700 women to the Bloemfontein City Council in the Orange Free State in defiance of the system. The campaign led by Charlotte Maxeke soon gained momentum and spread to other areas in Bloemfontein. In the resulting unrest, which spread throughout the province, hundreds of women were sent to prison. The direct result of this campaign was the establishment of the Bantu Women’s League under the leadership of Charlotte Maxeke.
Nearly 40 years later in 1952, permits were re-introduced to women in the Western Cape. The movement soon spread throughout the Union, mercilessly. On 9 August, 1956, the resulting movement brought together 20 000 women who marched to the Union buildings in Pretoria in defiance against the pass system. These pioneering women stood up and confronted the status quo; their brave actions are undeniable proof that even the greatest tyranny can be defeated by the actions of just a few.
How you can celebrate this Women’s Month:
Forgood is honouring, recognising and celebrating women throughout Women’s month. In our Campaign, you’ll find loads giving experiences throughout the country where you can get involved to uplift and empower today’s generation of women.
Try and reflect on the true meaning behind this Women’s Day and find a meaningful way (maybe on forgood?!) to show your appreciation for the incredible women of our country for not only the rest of the month, but all year long.
Enjoy your Women’s Day and we hope our Campaign encourages you to do some good this month! Go, women!