Stick around as media update's Lara Smit celebrates the momentous day in South African history when women took back control of their own narratives.

Women's Day in South Africa commemorates a significant day in our history. Sixty-six years ago, on this day, 20 000 women marched to the Union Buildings to protest against Pass Laws that had been extended. These laws were created to control the movement of women of colour during Apartheid.

The women who attended this march presented petitions to the door of the prime minister before standing in silence for half an hour. They then sang a protest song titled Wathint’Abafazi Wathint’imbokodo! — now you have struck the women, you have struck a rock!

This day pays tribute to a group of strong, resilient women who fought for their rights, freedom and equality — despite the dangers of this pursuit.

This date continues to signify the strength of these women but is also dedicated to spreading awareness about the challenges faced by women in contemporary society.

When working in the public relations industry, it is important to acknowledge this day in order to draw awareness to its history and what this meant for women in South Africa. Acknowledging it draws attention to its continued role in spreading awareness about women's struggles.

What's more is that by spotlighting days like this, it allows PR pros to:
  • assist in generating pride for important days like this
  • draw attention to the efforts that are taken to reduce female struggles
  • get the brands they work for involved in important causes surrounding women, and
  • devote their efforts to celebrating a cause that is close to the hearts of their audiences — allowing their brands to resonate better with their customers.

How are you commemorating this important day? Let us know in the comments section below.

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Now that you know what National Women Day is all about, find out more about the importance of women in the workplace in our article, Why women matter in the PR workplace: in 200 words or less.
*Image courtesy of Canva