You Strike A Women, You Strike A Rock
The title of this post has great historic significant and is a very important mantra in the history of South Africa. These words are from a protest song written for the women’s march of 1956. “Now you have touched the women you have struck a rock” which later developed into “You strike a women you strike a rock”. In my opinion the message of this song is this: We will not move, we will not leave, we are here to stay and we will be heard.
The 9th of August was declared National Women’s Day in 1994. It was on this day in 1956 that the National March of Women took place. 20 000 Women marched to petition against legislation that required African persons to carry a pass in order to have freedom of movement in our Country. These women marched on the Union Buildings in Pretoria where they stood outside, quietly for 30 minutes in silent protest – many with children on their backs. The march was led by Lillian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Rahima Moosa and Sophie Williams.
Though I tried my best I was not able to afford the rights to use the photographs of the event for the purpose of this post but would encourage you to go look at the slide show from the Google Cultural Institute. Here’s to hoping you will be touched as deeply as I was going through the haunting black and white images.
The line “You strike a women, you strike a rock!” now represents women’s courage and strength in South Africa.