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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
March 2019
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kaskaziBoost Your Week With A Hump Day ...

The chance to see dolphins, penguins, sunfish, whales, seals and more at sunrise all ...

Happy New Year The Fugard Theatre 5David Kramer Adapts Happy New Year For ...

The South African theatre legend has brought another international exciting show to Cape ...

harley_davidsonRide a Harley At Killarney

Feel the wind in your face and the power between your thighs when iron horses take over ...

ghost_walksWalk With Ghosts In A Haunted Village ...

Discover the mysterious Lavender Lady, an unsinkable coffin, butchering barbers, exhumed ...

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

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

jackson_hallWatch New Local Music Talent At Grand ...

Catch B Charles Experience, Chasing Time and DJs performing RnB, pop, jazz, funk, Motown ...

devonvalenew2Share A Double Brandy Special At ...

Enjoy a true South African sundowner at this picturesque venue just outside of ...

moyo_eden15Draughts for R25, R39 Cocktails Every ...

You, a couple friends, sitting at the Corona surfboard tables with your feet in the ...

cartelbraai5Friday Lunch Sorted: Lekker Braai At ...

End off the working week with a braai under the umbrellas in Green Point – food's ready ...

Avondale Garden Bar 4Sundowners In The Winelands This Summer

Kick back and start your weekend with a Friday afternoon sundowner session at Avondale ...

Jack BlackBeers and Bands at Jack Black Brewery ...

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

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What an awesome vibe: Top Franschhoek chefs’ lunch favourite is now open till late (one ...

Wine FliesA Wine Tour Like No Other With Wine ...

Experience the best wines the Western Cape has to offer, all while having fun with Wine ...

camissatownship_newEmbark On A Township Eco-Friendly ...

Enjoy this interactive excursion to the bustling community of Langa

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

Embrace your inner yogi outdoors

Galileo_picThe Galileo Open Air Cinema Movie ...

Get your dose of classics, dramas, action movies and more at these outdoor summertime ...

Strolla Restaurant and Bar in Sea PointGet Irie On The Sunset Deck At Strolla ...

Live reggae music every Saturday at Strolla: sprawl out on the Corona Sunset Deck as the ...

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

hq friday feels HQ Friday Feels: Dinner and Dancing on ...

Chill jazzy beats while you enjoy dinner, then the dance floor opens at 9pm till late

Boschendal_FridayMarket2Fresh: Friday Night Market in the ...

Rain or shine: Now more farm-fresh food stalls and seating, plus: local music and great ...

Park Inn_Rooftop1Friday Night Live DJ on the Rooftop at ...

Forget the traffic: watch the sun set to cool SA house vibes with after-work sundowners ...

Coco Safar Dinner NEW 2Indulge In Dinner and Dessert At Coco ...

And now they have added couture alcoholic cocktails to the menu at this all-day cafe

Battlefield Live SA Laser Tag Children's Events Cape TownSave on your kids’ birthday party ...

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

surfing muizenbergLearn To Surf Or Perfect Your Skills In ...

New to the surfing game? You’re in good hands at African Soul Surfer

African Soul Surfer Backpackers in Cape TownBook a Surf and Yoga Retreat at the ...

This week-long surf and yoga camp includes breakfast, accommodation and all your ...

Just Like Papa 1Just Like Papa: The Ultimate Place to ...

Finally, there’s a place in Cape Town where you can get exceptional home, camping, ...

Le Bonheur 10Snap up a Pizza and Reptile Adventure ...

Enjoy a delicious wood-fired pizza while taking a tour of the crocodile pond or the snake ...

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 ...

Kiff Kombi - Durbanville - 1Experience Cape Town's Most Spirited ...

All aboard, gin lovers! Here’s what to expect on a tour of Cape Town’s quaintest, ...

Cartel House 10Grab Yourself Free Flapjacks Every ...

Members only: Luxury co-working office space Cartel House serves up hot and fresh ...

Vergenoegd_duckrun1Cheer On The Ducks At Vergenoegd Löw

Bring the kids along to experience the Duck Parade

art_scienceDirty Art, Messy Science and An ...

Artist Natasja de Wet brings her recycled goods art exhibition to a pathology learning ...

Cloud 9 Hotel 3Spa and Sparkling Wine Special at ...

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