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  • Writer's pictureGwynn van Heerden

National Women’s Day 2020

South Africa, on the 9th of August 1956, 20 000 African women marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria. These courageous women left more than 100 000 signed petitions at the door of prime minister JG Strijdom's office doors. The peaceful protest was against the pass-act, legislation that required African women to carry a pass that will allow them into government assigned restricted areas. Our country's pass laws goal was to maintain population segregation, control urbanization, and manage migrant labor during the apartheid era. Twenty thousand brave women stood silently outside the prime minister's office patiently waiting for him to arrive and hear their cause.

"Many of the African women wore traditional dress, others wore the Congress colors, green, black, and gold; Indian women were clothed in white saris. Many women had babies on their backs and some domestic workers brought their white employers' children along with them. Throughout the demonstration, the huge crowd displayed a discipline and dignity that was deeply impressive (Walker 1991:195)."

Even though the petitions were ignored and prime minister JG Strijdom refused to make an appearance, the women saw it as a very successful march because throughout the country thousands more were inspired by their courage and civil disobedience and demonstrations continued sporadically for several years. Which later led to the disbanding of the "pass act".

We celebrate this day with all women still fighting for the right to be heard, seen, and respected by drawing attention to vital issues women face daily like domestic violence, unequal pay, sexual harassment, education, discrimination, etc.

At Boschrand Lodge most of our senior staff are female and we make sure that no gender inequality exists amongst us as well as our guests. Empowering women of all ages, races, and demographic backgrounds have always been a cause I will irrevocably support, not only because I identify as one but because I believe that women can change our country and the world.

Monday 10th of August 2020, Moru Restaurant at Boschrandlodge will be hosting a special Women's day breakfast and lunch, as well as SPECIALS FOR THE WHOLE MONTH! (Click here for the specials). Spoil your spouse, girlfriend, mother, daughter, best friend, or colleague with a special meal at our restaurant. Remind them that they hold the most important role in our society and by standing together we can make our ancestors proud.

"Here's to strong women. May we know them, may we be them, may we raise them." Stacey Bendet

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