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"You have struck a rock"

Strong, tenacious and positive women demonstrate how it should be done. Thank you to Zee and Hluma who served us coffee with a dose of joy and energy every morning throughout the taxi strike.

This month we celebrate the massive contribution made by all the women in our lives.  International Women's Day is celebrated in March but in South Africa we mark the occassion of the historic Women's March that happened on 9 August 1956.

This epic march was a spectacular success. Women from all parts of the country arrived in Pretoria, some from as far afield as Cape Town and Port Elizabeth. They then flocked to the Union Buildings in a determined yet orderly manner that was in stark contrast to the scenes we witnessed recently with the taxi strikes in Cape Town. This extract describes the impressive scene:

"Many of the African women wore traditional dress, others wore the Congress colours, green, black and gold; Indian women were clothed in white saris. Many women had babies on their backs and some domestic workers brought their white employers' children along with them. Throughout the demonstration the huge crowd displayed a discipline and dignity that was deeply impressive"

(Walker 1991:195).

This month was a special one for our national women's teams.  It was inspiring to see the country stand behind our women's football and netball teams.  They approached their wins and losses with equal graciousness and energy.  Banyana Banyana's response to their recent loss at the FIFA Women's World Cup was:

"A difficult loss but we take the positives."

The netball team reflected on their loss as follows:

"We wanted to reward the crowd, the South Africans, and the organisers of this great tournament with a win for South Africa, so that’s why this one hurts extra.

A lot of great things to look back on, for now we’ll just come down from this loss and we’ll keep reminding ourselves of the good things that happened during this tournament."

History has shown that South African women are robust and used to dealing with, and overcoming disappointment and becomming "stronger together".  

Closer to home, we remember Sophy Gray who played such a pivotal role in the opening of Bishops in 1849.  She was considered a 'modern' women at the time as she navigated her way through the South African landscape.

Here at the Mitre we are grateful to all the women who are part of the Bishops DNA, contributing in big and small ways.  Thank you.

[To read more about Sophy Gray and how she formed part of the famous Gray power-couple (husband Robert Gray), click on THIS LINK.]

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