Apartheid Museum Women’s Day – The Day That Rock Beat Paper

Apartheid Museum in South Africa commissioned a print advertising campaign to mark National Women’s Day, a public holiday commemorating the 9th of August 1956 when 20,000 South African women of all races marched on the Union Buildings in Pretoria. The protest was designed to express opposition to the Urban Areas Act, commonly known as the Pass Laws, legislation that required ‘non-whites’ to carry a document known as the Dom Pas which would allow them to move around, or live in ‘White South Africa’.

Apartheid Museum Womans Day

The Day That Rock Beat Paper. The ad shows a woman’s clenched fist and a white male hand holding an identity card for Bangephi Grace Ndwandwe. “Two women stood together, arms raised in the air in the clenched fist of the Congress salute and sang, ‘You strike a woman you strike a rock’. It is remembered as one of the major milestones in the struggle against the apartheid regime and the date is now commemorated as Women’s Day.”


The Women’s Day advertisement was developed at TBWA\Hunt Lascaris, Johannesburg, by executive creative director Damon Stapleton, creative director/art director Justin Wright, creative director Vanessa Gibson, copywriter David Edworthy, photographer Clive Stewart and retoucher Tebogo Suping.