Solidarity with the struggle of women in South Africa and Namibia

Solidarity with the struggle of women in South Africa and Namibia

The Day of Solidarity with the Women’s Struggle in South Africa and Namibia is celebrated on an international level every August 9th. This date represents the fight for their rights and currently supports awareness of discrimination.

The choice of both geographical areas and showing solidarity with women has its precedent in the horrific crimes of African apartheid against black women and girls between the late 1940s and 1990s.

To give legitimacy to this racial segregation known as apartheid, which means segregation by the language they used to call themselves “Africans,” derived from Dutch, they enacted laws based on skin color.

The Afrikaner National Party passed 317 laws during its tenure to legalize racism and privilege the white minority, who made up 14% of the population in 1988.

They ruled discriminatory over Afro-descendants, Native Americans, and mestizos for four decades. They built white-only neighborhoods, the bus system had stops for them, and they even had their own beaches; In addition, to avoid interbreeding, they banned interracial marriage.

All these measures had an impact on the women who protested in front of the government building in Pretoria on 9.1956. About 20,000 joined her voice in the face of injustice and against the passport law, which consisted of the obligation to carry a passport intended for entry into urban areas of the country reserved for whites.

The lack of this passport implied numerous restrictions and could lead to their families being abandoned or having their children taken away from them; moreover, they could not marry or trade without owning it.

The petition to repeal all laws promoting the wearing of this document was accompanied by 100,000 signatures. After delivering it, they were silent for 30 minutes to finish the demonstration chant. The hymn composed for the occasion became famous and expressed: “Now you have touched the women! You moved a stone, you will be crushed!”

Since then it has been used as a symbol of courage, strength and determination that distinguishes these women and their people. Thanks to this history of struggle, in June 1991, the three chambers of the South African Parliament repealed the last law in the Compendium of Laws that supported apartheid.

A year later, in a referendum, South Africans voted massively against this system and in favor of Nelson Mandela’s party having the right to participate in a presidential campaign, changing the reality of that country for years to come.

Celebrating this day allows you to relive events that demonstrate the importance of fighting against racial, gender or ethnic discrimination. and affirms that men and women can and should raise their voices for social justice whenever it is needed.