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Women's Day In SA and Why We Celebrate Differently From The Rest of The World

Why we celebrate on 9 August, PLUS: Watch video interviews and features on SA women struggle stalwarts

In Cape Town (and all of South Africa) we have a separate, special celebration for women. National Women’s Day falls on 9 August. It’s a public holiday and it specifically seeks to celebrate women in society’s contribution to achieving freedom in South Africa – more specifically, to commemorate the actions of women in 1956 to contribute to SA’s drive for freedom and equality.


Women march in Lesotho during a past National Women's Day protest 

It’s slightly different from the UN’s International Women’s Day, celebrated on 8 March every year. Here’s what Women’s Day in SA is all about:

HOMAGE TO STRUGGLE HEROES
Inaugurated in 1994, along with a free, democratic South Africa, the public holiday commemorates a 1956 protest lead by Lilian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Albertina Sisulu and Sophia Williams-De Bruyn. To rise up against the legislation that required black South Africans to carry the "pass" (special identification documents which infringed on their freedom of movement during the Apartheid era), approximately 20 000 women from all over the country took to the streets of Pretoria – many carrying the children of their white bosses on their backs – to stage a peaceful march to the Union Buildings.

WATCH: MARCH LEADER SOPHIA WILLIAMS-DE BRUYN RECOUNTS THE MARCH ON 21 ICONS

STRIKE A WOMAN, YOU STRIKE A ROCK
After delivering bundles of petitions containing more than 100 000 signatures to Prime Minister J.G Strijdom’s offices, they stood in silence for thirty minutes. A song was composed in honour of this momentous occasion, “Wathint' Abafazi Wathint' imbokodo!” (Now you have touched the women, you have struck a rock).

WATCH: DR RUTH MOMPATI SPEAKS ABOUT THE MEANING OF WOMEN’S DAY

THE ROLE OF WOMEN IN SHAPING MODERN SA SOCIETY
An inspiring display of political strength, female solidarity and inner fortitude, the march on August 9, 1956, is both a reminder of the great women who helped mould South Africa and the trailblazing women who continue to lead the country forward.

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Celebrate your womanhood with our list of Women’s Day events.

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PUBLIC HOLIDAYS IN SOUTH AFRICA

JANUARY    
1 Jan New Year's Day Check out more events happening in January
MARCH    
21 Mar Human Rights Day  
30 Mar Good Friday  Check out more events happening in March
APRIL    
2 Apr Family Day  
27 Apr Freedom Day Check out more events happening in April
MAY    
1 May Workers' Day Check out more events happening in May
JUNE    
16 Jun Youth Day Check out more events happening in June
AUGUST    
9 Aug National Women's Day Check out more events happening in August
SEPTEMBER    
24 Sept Heritage Day Check out more events happening in September
DECEMBER    
16 Dec Day of Reconciliation  
25 Dec Christmas Day  
26 Dec Day of Goodwill Check out more events happening in December

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Keep the kids entertained for R60 or less with our list of free and cheap things to do with kids.

Do your bit of good with these places to volunteer at in Cape Town.

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For more hot and happening things to do, check out the annual events in Cape Town or use our events section for an up-to-date overview of happenings in Cape Town. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter and if you have a smartphone, add capetownmagazine.com to your home screen for quick access on the go!

Cape Town Events Calendar
August 2018
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Banyana_BanyanaFREE TICKETS: Banyana Vs Netherlands At ...

SA’s women's football team take on their Dutch counterparts in preparation for their ...

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Mixing the dirty excitement of motocross with the slick speed of Nascar, flat track oval ...

tigger_2_royaleOn Bended Knee, Out At Sea, Aboard The ...

Turn the Tigger 2 Royale catamaran into your personal Love Boat, with their special ...

Galilieo_RupertSaturday Nights at The Galileo Open Air ...

Kick back, sip wine and relax with a country movie screening experience

silver_forestKick Off 2019 In Silver Forest's Lap Of ...

Who says that self endulgence needs to end after the festive season? Rejuvenate yourself ...

Jack BlackBeers and Bands at Jack Black Brewery ...

Every Friday night the Jack Black stage is lit up with local talent

green and veganA Pop Up Vegan House Party

Go home with a vegan power couple for a unique culinary experience

downward facing adopt a dogSay Namaste And Support The Pups

Bring your yoga mat, water, love for dogs and community spirit

Knife 6A Meal and Sparkling Wine on the House ...

Knife will treat you to a free meal on any Saturday that falls in the month of your ...

Camissa Tour 5 2015Get A Unique Sunday Gospel Experience ...

Embark on a spiritual Sunday journey through one of the Mother City’s most soulful ...

Glowing Rooms 3Get a Great Saving on 3D Mini-Golf with ...

Pay a special rate for entrance into SA’s first 3D space-themed glow-in-the-dark ...

Om Revolution vinyasa poseHave an Outdoor Yoga Experience with ...

Embrace your inner yogi outdoors

Langarm The Fugard Theatre 4Award-winning David Kramer Brings ...

Some of South Africa’s most established stage performers take to the stage in this ...

OX Seals 04Smile: You Get 10% Off Seal Snorkelling ...

Up close with wild Cape fur seals in small, intimate excursions that are super special, ...

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Roast and Co Daily: Two Hours of 2-For-1 Specials at ...

Plus: Half-price on all “To Share” plates – see what’s on the menu here

Coco Safar 7The Saturday Spoil: Luxury Breakfast at ...

Sea Point’s premier all-day cafe offers a breakfast worth waking up early for

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Make your kids’ birthday party extra special with outdoor laser tag with Battlefield ...

Kaapse Stories at The Rockwell TheatreDinner and a Show with Rockwell Theatre

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Radisson Blu 12Save on Having Your Dream Wedding at ...

Have a stress-free wedding when hosting it at this city location

Leopard's Leap Harvest Table 1Savour the Lekker in What's Local at ...

Discover South Africa through its flavours and traditions at a family-table event ...

V&A Food Market 3Free Live Music and Affordable ...

With 42 artisanal street food vendors and retail products and free live music every ...

Fire and Ice Weekend PartyParty in the Fire & Ice Hotel Lobby ...

Live DJ, killer cocktails, 38 gourmet milkshakes and the chance to meet exciting new ...

Beluga Live Music Event 2Live Music Every Saturday at Beluga

Enjoy fresh and vibey live music every Saturday at Beluga

Just Like Papa 6Pop into Just Like Papa this Saturday ...

Gold-class vicar knives, Swedish-made hunter’s hatchets and one-of-a-kind handcrafted ...

Vergenoegd_duckrun1Cheer On The Ducks At Vergenoegd Löw

Bring the kids along to experience the Duck Parade

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