Weekly editorial

Latest editorial: Phenomenal Women…

“wathint' abafazi, wathint' imbokodo! you strike a woman; you strike a rock”

  • Women marchers 1956

 
As we continue celebrating women this month, we look at an article written by Lebo Mashego on some of the women who led a march that challenged the apartheid system and a poem by Maya Angelou titled Phenomenal Woman.
 
Women's March was a march that took place on 9 August 1956 in Pretoria, South Africa. The marchers' aims were to protest the introduction of the Apartheid pass laws for black women in 1952 and the presentation of a petition to the then Prime Minister J.G. Strijdom. The organisation behind the march was Federation of South African Women, an anti-apartheid organisation for women of various groups including the ANC Women's League with the aim of strengthening female voice in the movement. They contributed to the Congress of the People in 1955, where the Freedom Charter was drawn up, by submitting a document called What Women Demand which addressed needs such as child care provisions, housing, education, equal pay, and equal rights with men in regard to property, marriage and guardianship of children. By 1956 their focus had shifted towards a protest concerning the introduction of passes for black women.

Click here for the full article.  
 
Phenomenal Woman
 
Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.
I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size  
But when I start to tell them,
They think I’m telling lies.
I say,
It’s in the reach of my arms,
The span of my hips,  
The stride of my step,  
The curl of my lips.  
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,  
That’s me.
 
I walk into a room
Just as cool as you please,  
And to a man,
The fellows stand or
Fall down on their knees.  
Then they swarm around me,
A hive of honey bees.  
I say,
It’s the fire in my eyes,  
And the flash of my teeth,  
The swing in my waist,  
And the joy in my feet.  
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
 
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
 
Men themselves have wondered  
What they see in me.
They try so much
But they can’t touch
My inner mystery.
When I try to show them,  
They say they still can’t see.  
I say,
It’s in the arch of my back,  
The sun of my smile,
The ride of my breasts,
The grace of my style.
I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
 
Now you understand
Just why my head’s not bowed.  
I don’t shout or jump about
Or have to talk real loud.  
When you see me passing,
It ought to make you proud.
I say,
It’s in the click of my heels,  
The bend of my hair,  
the palm of my hand,  
The need for my care.  
’Cause I’m a woman
Phenomenally.
Phenomenal woman,
That’s me.
 
“Phenomenal Woman” from And Still I Rise By Maya Angelou
 
----------------------------------------------------
 
 Also remember to follow our updates from NGO Pulse on Twitter and Facebook
 
We remind you to consider using our NGO Pulse Premium Advertising Service in support of your communication and outreach activities. This highly popular and successful service integrates all SANGONeT's advertising and communication channels into a single suite of services.

Click here for more information.

SANGONeT NGO Web Builder Project is a website development programme that specialises in developing websites for NGOs and also provides training services on development and effective use of websites.

Click here for more information.

Read the e-newsletter here: Issue 619: Phenomenal Women…

NGO Services

NGO Services