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South African Embassy Closes In Honour of South Africa Women's Day

August 10th 2015 Will See the South African Embassy of Berlin Close for South African Women’s Day

August 06th, 2015

On Monday, August 10th 2015 the South African Embassy will be closed in honour of the black women of South Africa who fought for their rights during the apartheid regime.

Women’s Day is witnessed every year in South Africa every year on August 9th as a public holiday and pays homage to all women in South Africa. It commemorates the protest march led by Lilian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Albertina Sisulu and Sophia Williams-De Bruyn, who fought tirelessly against the apartheid regime within the South African government.

On August 9th 1959, about 20,000 women took to the streets of Pretoria and marched to the Union Building in protest against the South African government. The apartheid regime passed legislation which would have forced women to carry the “pass” – special identification documents which infringed on their freedom of movement during the Apartheid era. The protest involved dumping reams of petitions containing over 100,000 signatures outside Prime Minister J.G Strijdom’s offices, and then proceeded to stand outside of the Union Building in silence for 30 minutes. Then the gaggle of protesters burst out in song – a song composed specifically for the event against the legislation, “Wathint' Abafazi Wathint' imbokodo!” (Now you have touched the women, you have struck a rock).

An inspiring demonstration of political strength, female solidarity and inner fortitude; the march on August 9 1956 is both a reminder of the great women who helped mould South Africa and the trailblazing women who continue to lead the country forward and a show of how far the country has come. The embassy will resume normal service and reopen the following day on August 11th.


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News from Berlin
Joe Allport, Berlin Global