Every year on 9 August we celebrate Women’s Day in South Africa, a public holiday that pays homage to the women of our nation; – the mothers, the wives, the sisters and the daughters. Going back to 9 August 1956, when more than 50,000 women staged a march on the Union Buildings in Pretoria. Outside they stood silently for 30 minutes and sang a song that was composed in honor of the occasion: Wathint’Abafazi Wathint’imbokodo! (Now you have touched the women, you have struck a rock.). In the 54 years since, the phrase (or its latest incarnation: “you strike a woman, you strike a rock”) has come to represent women’s courage and strength in South Africa.
I came across this amazing “unknown poem “on women that I would like to share with the thousands of women celebrating Women’s Day.
Women have strengths that amaze men. They carry children, they carry hardships, they carry burdens but they hold happiness, love and joy. They smile when they want to scream. They sing when they want to cry. They cry when they are happy and laugh when they are nervous. Women wait by the phone for a “safe at home call” from a friend after a scary drive home. Women have special qualities about them. They volunteer for good causes. They are pink ladies in hospitals, they bring food to shelters. They are childcare workers, executives, attorneys, stay- at-home moms, biker babes and your neighbours. They wear suits, jeans, and they wear uniforms. They fight for what they believe in. They stand up for injustice. They are in the front row at meetings, they vote for the person that will do the best job for family issues. They walk and talk the extra mile to get their children in the right schools and for getting their family the right healthcare. They write to the editor, their congressmen and to the “powers that be” for things that make for a better life. They don’t take “no” for an answer when they believe there is a better solution. They stick a love note in their husband’s lunch box. They do without new shoes so their children can have them. They go to the doctor with a frightened friend. They love unconditionally. Women are honest, loyal, and forgiving. They are smart, knowing that knowledge is power. But they still know how to use their softer side to make a point. Women want to be the best for their family, their friends, and themselves. They cry when their children excel and cheer when their friends get awards. They are happy when they hear about a birth or a new marriage. Their hearts break when a friend dies. They have sorrow at the loss of a family member, yet they are strong when they think there is no strength left. A woman’s touch can cure any ailment. They know that a hug and a kiss can heal a broken heart. A woman can make a romantic evening unforgettable. Women come in all sizes, in all colours and shapes. They live in homes, apartments and cabins. They drive, fly, walk, run or e-mail you to show how much they care about you. The heart of a woman is what makes the world spin! Women do more than just give birth. They bring joy and hope. They give compassion and ideals. They give moral support to their family and friends. And all they want back is a hug, a smile and for you to do the same to people you come in contact with. Women have a lot to say and a lot to give. This is a note of appreciation to some wonderful women… [ Author Unknown — from ‘Sermon Fodder’ (Keith Todd) ]