While international women’s day is celebrated in March, South Africans commemorate the 20 000 women march in 1956 on the Union Buildings in Pretoria.
This was a protest against the laws with required black South Africans to apply for a travel pass within South Africa to further apartheid in the country. Therefore women were outraged about these travel restrictions and they decided to do a silent protest.
The leaders of this movement included Lilian Ngoyi, Sophia Williams, Rahima Moosa and Helen Joseph among other women of all races. They sang songs such as Nkosi sikeleli Afrika and “Wathint’ abafazi, Strijdom!” which became the anthem of the anthem of the march.
The march was a resounding success, all thanks to these women who risked arrest, detention and banning for the freedom of many.