Wathint’ abafazi,wathint’ imbokodo – When you strike a woman, you strike a rock – was the battle cry of women who marched to the Union Buildings in South Africa in 1956, and it has echoed through the ages and continues to ring true today. For hundreds of years, as birth givers, nurturers, leaders of industry and pillars of their communities from Cape Town to Cairo, African women have fought for their place in society; fought the label of “the weaker sex”, seeking to be seen as equal in strength, determination and value in their various forms of womanhood, and as people whose voices should not and cannot be muted. Today, we challenge ourselves here at CIVICUS to continue to amplify the voices of women all over the world.

We join the ongoing struggle today and onwards into the future, in honour of our mothers and grandmothers and maternal ancestors through the ages who stood up against oppression despite, or rather to spite, their fears and the reservations of those who feared their strength. To vicariously give strength to those who live in fear each day. To force our way out of the imposed shadows of those who believe in the adage, “behind every great man…” or “a woman’s place is...” because women are, and belong in every sphere of life, and in most, carry the heavier load.

This International Women’s Day challenges the world to imagine a day without a woman… Could you live without us?


 *CIVICUS HQ with and without women

#ADWAW #CountMeIn #IWD2017

Lerato Pagiwa, Johannesburg.



Johannesburg Office
25  Owl Street, 6th Floor
Johannesburg, 2092
Tel: +27 (0)11 833 5959
Fax: +27 (0)11 833 7997


Geneva Office
11 Avenue de la Paix
Tel: +41 (0)22 733 3435


Washington DC Office
CIVICUS World Alliance
1775 Eye Street NW Suite 1150
Washington DC 20006, USA

New York Office
205 East 42nd Street, 15th Floor
New York, New York, 10017


London Office
Unit 60
Eurolink Business Centre
49 Effra Road
SW2 1BZ, London
Tel: +44 (0)20 7733 9696