Women Marching Into the 21st Century: Wathint' Abafazi, Wathint' Imbokodo

Front Cover
HSRC Press, 2000 - Women - 311 pages
On this 44th anniversary of the Women's Defiance Campaign, we pay tribute to the many women who have shaped the history of South Africa. National Women's Day celebrates the 9 August 1956 march by some 20 000 women who converged on the Union Buildings in Pretoria to protest against pass laws, one of the first and largest mass demonstrations organized by women against white minority rule. This commemorative publication is the first in a series which will celebrate the achievements, selflessness and commitment of ordinary women who have contributed in extra-ordinary ways in the South African society. The publication focuses on women who made contributions in particular fields: those who fought for justice and peace at the turn of the 19th and 20th centuries as pioneers, missionaries and medical and nursing attendants, those who did pioneering work in the arts and sciences, the early writers of South African history, the suffragettes who fought for equality and fairness, the trade union women who fought for a living wage, and the early women political activists, as well as more current pioneers in the respective professions. We also include women who currently play a role in human resource development in South Africa and the international arena. Today we honour all these women through this commorative publication. The exemplary achievements of all these women are certainly an inspiration for men and women now and will indeed be an anspiration for future generations.

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Page 7 - ... into contracts, to own and dispose of property, and to exercise guardianship over their children. Obstacle to progress: The law has lagged behind the development of society; it no longer corresponds to the actual social and economic position of women. The law has become an obstacle to the progress of women, and therefore a brake on the whole of society.
Page 16 - ... South African women it is also intended to symbolize reconciliation between black and white in the new South Africa. The memorial gains a documentary dimension from the steps leading to the vestibule. The risers of the steps carry key phrases, rendered in metal, extracted from the protest letters, The Demand of the Women of South Africa for the Withdrawal of Passes for Women and the Repeal of the Pass Laws.
Page 9 - State bodies, without restriction or discrimination. 2. The right to full opportunities for employment with equal pay and possibilities of promotion in all spheres of work. 3. Equal rights with men in relation to property, marriage and children, and for the removal of all laws and customs that deny women such equal rights. 4. For the development of every child through free compulsory education for all; for the protection of mother and child through maternity homes, welfare clinics, creches and nursery...
Page 7 - We shall teach the men that they cannot hope to liberate themselves from the evils of discrimination and prejudice as long as they fail to extend to women complete and unqualified equality in law and in practice. Need for Education: We also recognise that large numbers of our womenfolk continue to be bound by traditional practices and conventions, and fail to realise that these have become obsolete and a brake on progress. It is our duty and privilege to enlist all women in our struggle for emancipation...
Page 233 - Spectators could catch a glimpse of her "brutal figure" for a mere two shillings. At this time attention focused not on her apron (she was clothed in a costume resembling her skin as nearly as possible) but on her protruding buttocks which, for an extra charge, viewers could poke and prod.
Page 5 - European and coloured, hereby declare our aim of striving for the removal of all laws, regulations, conventions and custom that discriminate against us as women, and that deprive us in any way of our inherent right to the advantages, responsibilities and opportunities that society offer to any one section of the population.
Page 6 - It was adopted at the inaugural conference and included in the final report of the conference. the homes that are too small, broken and dirty to be kept clean. We know the burden of looking after children and land when our husbands are away in the mines, on the farms, and in the towns earning our daily bread. We know what it is to keep family life going in pondokkies and shanties, or in overcrowded one-room apartments. We know the bitterness of children taken to lawless ways, of daughters becoming...
Page 100 - Serowe: Village of the rain wind (1981) and A bewitched crossroad (1984).
Page 16 - We represent and we speak on behalf of hundreds of thousands of women who could not be with us. But all over the country, at this moment, women are watching and thinking of us. Their hearts are with us. We are women from every part of South Africa. We are women of every race. We come from the cities and the towns, from the reserves and the villages. We come as women united in our purpose to save the African women from the degradation of passes. For hundreds of years the African people have suffered...
Page 5 - Africa must be considered low in the scale of civilized nations. Women's lot: We women share with our menfolk the cares and anxieties imposed by poverty and its evils. As wives and mothers, it falls upon us to make small wages stretch a long way. It is we who feel the cries of our children when they are hungry and sick. It is our lot to keep and care for the homes that are too small, broken and dirty to be kept clean. We know the burden of looking after...

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