National Women's Day is observed worldwide as a mark of respect for the mass protest initiated by women against the Population Registration Act that was passed in South Africa. The act, introduced in 1956, sought to characterize South Africans as a Black community as part of the institutional racism that existed throughout the 19thcentury in South and South West Africa.

National Women's Day is observed on Aug. 9 to commemorate the day in 1956 when 20,000 women staged a march to the Union Buildings, the official seat of the South African government, in a show of resistance against the passing of the law that made it necessary for the South Africans to carry an internal passport that would help facilitate population segregation and monitor the rate migration to the cities.

In 2006, on the 50th anniversary of the march, the iconic event was re-enacted with many veterans from the 1956 march in attendance.

Each year, the day echoes the sentiments of the brave women in South Africa who raised their voices against oppression at the hands of the white-controlled systems. The day also shines a light on a series of issues women continue to face even today, such as domestic violence and sexual harassment in the workplace.

Here are some quotes about women's rights that seek to empower as well as prove that women are exceptionally strong.

  • "If you want something said, ask a man; if you want something done, ask a woman."- Margaret Thatcher
  • "Feminism isn't about making women stronger. Women are already strong, it's about changing the way the world perceives that strength."- G.D Anderson
  • "There is no limit to what we, as women, can accomplish." – Michelle Obama
  • More countries have understood that women's equality is a prerequisite for development." — Kofi Annan
  • "The education and empowerment of women throughout the world cannot fail to result in a more caring, tolerant, just and peaceful life for all."- Aung San Suu Kyi
  • "Women will not simply be mainstreamed into the polluted stream. Women are changing the stream, making it clean and green and safe for all — every gender, race, creed, sexual orientation, age, and ability."- Bella Abzug
  • "Women's chains have been forged by men, not by anatomy."- Stephanie Lamm
Protest march
Protest march Pixabay