Today is the 9th of August, marking national Women’s Day on the calendars of Southh Africans. This day has actually been declared as a public holiday to comemorate an incident that occurred a few decades ago when women of all races went to the Union building in Pretoria to protest against the unjust laws of the “Apartheid regime” as so many people who are either ignorant or in denial of the recent numerous racially motivated crimes committed all over South Africa on a day-to-day basis like to refer to the pre-1994 government …
What is significant for me as a White South African about this day, is that the historical event that led to its official observance as a public holiday serves as proof that all women, regardless of race, belief, cultural background, and conviction, can stand together and without the help and support of men, to fight against injustice, such as laws that generate division, resentment, hatred, and bitterness. Women are able to show to the world that it is possible and doable to fight without using force or violence if they put their minds to it.
It reinforces the belief I’ve been holding for such a long time that women are meant
to bind and hold together that which has been entrusted to them and their people, namely relationships and the sense of community and identity;
to mend what has been broken down over many years by man’s prejudiced and unfounded assumptions and presumptions; and
to rebuild and restore the secure walls and boundaries of their habitation
in a way men can’t.
So today, I feel grateful and proud to be a woman despite all the messy and/or complicated stuff that comes with womanhood. I’m also proud to have been born in South Africa despite my vulnerability as a visually impaired person and the fact that I often feel resentment toward people who assume certain things about me without knowing me just because I’m white and Afrikaans. I am even proud of the fact that I am white, because the presence of the white women among those who protested in those days is proof that not all whites are racists …