This month South Africa celebrated National Women's Day on 9 August and we continue to recognise the month of August as women's month.
On the 9th of August we commemorate the day in 1956 when approximately 20,000 women marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to petition against the country's pass laws. These pass laws required South Africans defined as "black" under The Population Registration Act to carry an internal passport, known as a pass. This served to maintain population segregation, control urbanisation and managed migrant labour during the apartheid era.
The first National Women's Day was celebrated on 9 August 1995.
This day is an important day to remember the fierce, brave and resilient women who fought for gender equality back in an era where it was frowned upon, and those who continue to do so in South Africa and around the world.
We, at WGHS, recognise, support, empower, uplift and honour all those who identify as women in South Africa.
Tragically, gender-based violence remains a scourge within our society, exacerbated in some instances by lockdown and other Covid 19-related stressors. Because of this, we have chosen to use our national 'Women's Month' as a platform to unite as women and as a nation to voice our contention against the violence that women and children are STILL experiencing daily.
In September 2019 WGHS, with the rest of the Campus of Schools, stood in solidarity against gender-based violence. In the same month members from our Femsoc Society also joined the voices that enough is enough, by remembering the women whose lives have been altered or cut short at the hands of gender-based violence. It is heart-breaking that names are still being added all too frequently to our "wall of remembrance" noticeboard in our school.
Through these small, yet powerful, reminders and other gestures we commit to continuing to work towards making our community and our land a safer, more equitable and just space for all who identify as women.
You may shoot me with your words,
You may cut me with your eyes,
You may kill me with your hatefulness,
But still, like air, I’ll rise.
- Maya Angelou
Artwork credit: Trilby Glen