Celebrated on the ninth of August, Women’s Day is a South African holiday that commemorates the national march of over fifty thousand women on this day in 1956 to challenge the Pass Laws that arose from enactment of The Population Registration Act. Under this act, black citizens were required to carry a special passport that restricted their movement around the country. These citizens were required to have these papers on them at all times, and if they couldn’t produce them on demand for authorities, then they were subject to arrest. Even though the act wasn’t officially repealed until June 17, 1991, their march came to represent the determination and strength of women all across South Africa. And because of their resolve, they will be remembered for quite some time to come.
In 1995, Women’s Day became an official holiday in South Africa, right after it became a democratic country. Today, there are celebrations of this day all across South Africa, particularly in areas such as Cape Town. Some of these include festivals and parties, but there are also usually parades on this day as well. And many of these festivals include speeches from prominent women from all areas of society including business, education and politics.