The anti-apartheid struggle icons who led the 1956 women’s march have been honoured. The Ahmed Kathrada and the Dr. Sophie Williams De Bruyn Foundations have remembered the women of fortitude by visiting their gravesites and observing wreath-laying ceremonies.

The Women of Fortitude event began at the gravesites of stalwarts Lilian Ngoyi and Helen Joseph. The two foundations were joined by several other women.

As stories about the bravery of the icons were shared, several issues affecting women were also raised. The pandemic of gender-based violence, the economic impact of COVID-19 on women, are a big concern.

The group also visited the gravesite of Rahima Moosa. Anti-Apartheid Icon, Sophie De Bruyn, told women that times have changed for the worst. De Bruyn says during apartheid women had one enemy, the apartheid system.

But the threats against women have multiplied as poverty, GBV, and Inequality soar.

She praised women for their resilience. “I think she would be very happy where she is to know that the youth have taken up the call of GBV and all other ills that are confronting women. She would also be happy knowing that women have condemned and rejected what happened in the past weeks, where people are taking advantage of the plight of our people during the unrest.”

Anti-Apartheid Icon, Sophie De Bruyn honours women who fought against apartheid:

‘Unequal power relations’

As the spirit of African National Congress stalwart Albertina Sisulu was honoured, the ANC Women’s League paid tribute to the struggle icons. They called for women whose businesses were affected by the looting to be prioritised for assistance.

Issues affecting young women were also raised with calls for the unequal power relations between women and men to be addressed.

ANC Women’s League’s Nomvula Mokonyane says more radical action is needed to stand up against GBV. The group also extended gratitude to all women who are at the frontline of fighting the COVID-19 Pandemic

As the country gears up to mark 65 years since the 1956 historic march, women are reminded they have a better chance of fighting and overcoming the challenges they face if they stand united.

Kathrada and Sophie & Henry De Bruyn foundations remember women of fortitude: