Remembering Our Heroines

Mme Margaret Gazo was a servant of the people who led from the front whenever called upon to do so.
She played a significant role in the 1956 March to Pretoria Union Buildings against the pass laws.
Mama was a fearless leader who championed the ideals of democracy, human rights and the struggle against apartheid.

Mme Margaret Gazo played an instrumental role in orchestrating and spearheading what was to be known as one of the largest demonstrations by women in the country’s history, the 1956 Women’s March against the hated system of the pass laws.

Mme Margaret Gazo led the March from Payneville where she resided and as they approached Springs town, security forces such as the police began to shoot at them. Fearing for their lives, some of the protestor decided to abandon the march,but to most people’s surprise Mme Margaret and a small group defied the odds and proceeded to the Union Buildings.

Those who knew Mme Margaret describe her as a disciplined, visionary and determined woman. This is evident in the fact that she spent five years in prison for her role in the struggle for liberation. Mama passed away  on  April 8 in the year 1974 before she could enjoy the fruits of her labour, leaving behind a huge legacy.
One that remains engraved in our hearts – that of standing up for what she and her fellow women comrades believed in. She remains synonymous with the chant “Wathinta Abafazi, Wathinta Imboko”. What she and her generation inspired millions of future generations  never to lose hope, and struck a blow for equality and women’s emancipation.

Ours is to recognize that the empowerment of women serves as the corner stone in the creation of a prosperous, free and democratic South Africa.
A South Africa where women are acknowledged, not only as the custodians of the kitchen at home, but rather as major role-players and anchors of our socioeconomic agenda.

We do not only owe it to the women of today, but to selfless women like Mme Margaret, Ruth First, Bertha Gxowa, Albertina Sisulu, Dr Adelaide Tambo and many others who fought tirelessly for our freedom and women emancipation.
These women defied the odds to ensure that women played a strategic and influential role in the struggle for liberation.

It was their resolve and determination to play their part that ensured that thus struggle to defeat apartheid which was led by great leaders like Chief Albert Luthuli, Oliver Tambo and Walter Sisulu became sustainable. They were able to be mothers, wives and comrades at the same time.

Long live the spirit of Cde Margaret Gazo long live!

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