Celebrating South African Women’s Day

South African Women’s Day celebrates the demonstration by 20,000 women of all races on 9th August 1956 against the pass laws.  Since 1994, it has been a public holiday in South Africa.  On or around that date each year in the late 1980s the City of London Anti-Apartheid Group would hold a specially rally on the Non-Stop Picket of the South African Embassy.

Five City Group women celebrate SA Women’s Day 1988 (Photographer: Jon Kempster)

Of all the photographs of the Non-Stop Picket we have discovered and been given over the last year, the one show here is one of my favourites.  It shows five young City Group women – four British, one Dutch – celebrating South African Women’s Day in August 1988.  Women played a central role in the leadership of City Group, on the Non-Stop Picket and the actions that the group took against apartheid.  Many of them, like the women shown in this photo were in their teens and early twenties.  What I like about this photo is that shows young women taking the lead in a political process, it demonstrates their seriousness and commitment, but also suggests the sense of community and comradeship that the intensity of the Picket generated.

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About Gavin Brown

Lecturer in Human Geography University of Leicester
This entry was posted in Archival research and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Celebrating South African Women’s Day

  1. Pingback: A (guerrilla) ‘geography project’ for South African Women’s Day | Non-Stop Against Apartheid

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