'If then, why not now'
If the women who marched in 1956 could face the "mighty, repressive and brutal force of the apartheid government", what is to stop them ending rape and abuse where they live today?
This was the question posed by Mpumalanga Premier Thabang Makwetla in commemorating Women's Day in Katjibane near Marapyane yesterday.
"South African women need to say 'enough is enough' and put a stop to the violations taking place in our communities," said Makwetla.
He added that everyone had a responsibility to assert gender equality in every sphere of human life so that "we defend the dignity and rights of women to develop to their full potential and contribute to the growth of our nation".
Women's Day "gives us an opportunity to pay homage to the resilient struggles of South African women at all levels of society.
"This includes rural women who have had to raise families and build this nation under extreme conditions of deprivation and poverty.
"This is their day too," he said.
Makwetla said he was optimistic that the implementation of the "Water for All" project would help ease the burden for women, especially in areas where households were affected by a lack of access to clean water.