Today is National Women’s Day in South Africa. This public holiday marks the anniversary of one of the largest demonstrations staged in this country’s history. On this day in 1956, 20 000 women of all races marched to the Union Buildings to protest against legislation aimed at tightening the Apartheid government’s control over the movement of black women in urban areas. According to records of the day, the women stood silently for 30 minutes and then started singing the powerful protest song “Wathint’Abafazi Wathint’imbokodo”, which means “now you have touched the women, you have struck a rock”. In more recent years, this anthem has evolved to the commonly used phrase, “you strike a woman, you strike a rock” and has come to represent women’s courage and strength in the country.
There has been significant improvements in the lives of women since the end of Apartheid almost 25 years ago. However, South Africa, like most other countries in the world, still has a way to go to improve women’s access to economic, education and health opportunities as well as political empowerment.
As a working mother of two daughters, I have a vested interest in improving the lives of all women in my corner of the world. Therefore, at Africanismo, we are especially mindful about creating market opportunities for talented female entrepreneurs. Many of the artisans we currently feature on our website, and plan to collaborate with over the coming months, are women. And while we passionately believe in supporting all talented African designers, crafters and artisans; we are particularly committed to supporting and growing the businesses of women.
This Women’s Day, in celebration of the remarkable women in history, as well as the incredible women you may have in your life today, help us to support the businesses of the female entrepreneurs currently featured on our site, namely: Pone, African Renaissance, Wild Threads, Bongi & Blessings Crochet and Fabrica.