“When you strike the women, you strike a rock” was the song 20 000 women sang on August 9, 1956 whilst marching to the Union Buildings to voice their protest against the Pass Law. This event made a great impact and ultimately led to the day being commemorated as Women’s Day each year.
The women marched then because there was something wrong that needed to be changed. This year in Cape Town, there will be another march mostly of women; this time to Parliament. The marchers will hand over a white paper and petition to voice their concerns, says Pastor Charmaine Hoedemaker of the Good Hope Christian Centre, who is organising the march.
Currently, despite various campaigns, movements and petitions, women and children are still daily becoming the victims of violence and abuse, she said. The rape of a 4 month old baby girl in Ceres during the past weekend was just one of the horrific stories to illustrate this evil.
Hoedemaker explained why this women’s march is different: “Christians can voice what is wrong in society. God desires that we lead peaceable lives, yet we are confronted with all the abuse in the news and other media. We cannot allow this to become the norm.”
She said the march will not be political and they will not be toyi-toying while marching, but rather praying. Each marcher will have make a pledge not to contribute to a climate of violence and abuse — and this includes men that join in. Each person needs to become an agent of change and not criticise what others are doing, she said.
Their research into what churches and organisations are doing to combat the wave of evil, indicates everyone is doing something good in their own special way. Although they salute and commend the inroads already made in this regard, they strongly feel there is a need for more to be done. There should be a collective effort with everyone standing together in this fight. Preventative care should be taken. What really is needed is a moral regeneration that starts in every home, said Hoedemaker.
Linda Meshoe, wife of ACDP President Kenneth Meshoe would have been the special speaker at the event, but unfortunately she had to leave on an urgent engagement abroad.
“Because we can” is the women’s slogan and they believe that part of their journey is to make their voices heard, so that women and children ultimately will be free to pursue their destiny without the fear of violence and abuse. Pledging, marching and praying, doing what they believe they can. May this march of 1000 or more women and men, bring about the positive change they wish to see.
Anybody is welcome to join the march which will begin at 09:00 from Keizergracht Street (opposite CPUT), the proceed into Darling Street, left into Buitenkant Street, right into Roeland Street to Parliament.