South Africa celebrates Woman’s Day on the 9th of August every year and dedicates the month of August to women in our country. And it’s no different in 2021, despite the pandemic and the regulations associated with it.
As stated by the South African Government, we will celebrate this year’s Women Month under the theme: “Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights for an Equal Future”. The concept of Generation Equality is a global campaign and links South Africa to global efforts to achieve gender equality by 2030.
Every year we remember and honour the 20 000 women (and more) who marched to the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956 in protest against the extension of Pass Laws to women. It was a system aimed at controlling women and an attempt at reducing women to passive beings, at the mercy of men.
65 years on and the girl child, still has to fight for their right to education, their right to life and dignity. But this blog is not about all of that! This post is about empowering women. My ode to women who are reading this blog post. A subtle, but powerful reminder of who we are as women! A little soundboard for women across the world! A platform for change! And a strong message to remember who you are as woman and your dedication to focusing on your purpose!
There is an African Proverb that says: “Educate a man, and you have educated an individual. But educate a woman and you have educated a generation.” It is said that whenever a woman is given something, she multiplies it. She is the epitome of strength, but yet she struggles to see that everyday.
Here is a delightful reminder of how powerful you are as woman:
- You turn groceries on a store’s shelf into warm, delicious meals to feed your loved ones!
- You are able to carry and nurture a little human being for 40 weeks and sometimes more before he / she even makes out into this crazy world.
- When you love, you love hard!
- You are able to turn a house into a home filled with love, compassion, happiness, joy and beauty.
- You are able to hold down a 9 – 5 and a side hustle.
- Your car is often used for work, kiddy pick ups and drop offs.
- Your wallet is never empty and when it is, you are always able to make a plan.
- Even at your weakest point, you are able to hold back the tears and show up.
I am sure that while you read this, you are familiar with those moments you feel like your whole world is falling apart. Every woman knows about those fateful and undesirable moments where she finds herself in a bathroom, in her car or in her bedroom, and she completely melts down, cries her eyes out and withers in her sorrows for a while. It is that same woman who comes out smiling, straight after her crash, to face her family or work colleagues. As if nothing had happened.
Women of strength have characteristics that stand out in a crowd and I am sure that you will identify some in the list below.
We are fearless – during the times of adversity we know no boundaries to make it through those tough times. Whether we are tattered and torn by the end of the journey, we have this ability to say “I am a survivor”
We are courageous – even at the times when we feel that we are not able to achieve, we give it a go anyway! We somehow manage dig deep into our souls and be BRAVE!
We are Optimists – we manage to see the glass half full, never empty. We notice that even when we are faced with a day filled with rain and clouds, the sun still came out to play.
We are empathetic – we love unconditionally and with all of our hearts, we care and have compassion for others.
We are beautiful – both inside and out! And we rarely conform to what the world expects from us. We see the beauty in others and always compliment each other on the greatness that lies within.
We are supportive – we love being there for others and would often break our backs trying to help.
Women of Strength do not tolerate, nor support the PHD syndrome – Putting Her Down Syndrome. A friend, Karen Kwalie once spoke of this syndrome and I was intrigued at how this happens all too often in our communities. It has created so much inequalities amongst women and to the detriment of Women!
So today, I urge you to honour the 20K women who marched to the Union Buildings in 1956 by committing to unity as women to ensure gender equality and encouraging the upliftment of the Girl Child and Women in SA. We will never be able to defeat gender inequality, when so much inequality still exists within our sistahood! So, unite and empower, Women of Strength so that we can ensure that equality prevails in our society.
Much love and light!
Lezel Molefe Author & CEO – Ikigai Therapeutic & Development Agency
BSocSc (SW) Hons; Psych (Hons) : University of Cape Town
If you are in need of any counselling assistance, feel free to email us on firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us via whatsapp on +27677017554