Happy Women’s Day
Today is National Women’s Day in South Africa, and this post goes out to all the Women of South Africa to wish you a very ✨Happy Women’s Day!✨
Wherever you are today, and whatever you are doing, we wish you a day of Love & Happiness and hope that you are being treated like a Queen by your Loved Ones.
To those of you who are sad, stressed, ill or otherwise not in the frame of mind or space to celebrate Women’s Day we send out ✨Blessings of Peace, Love & Light!✨
This National Women’s Day marks the 60th anniversary of the great Women’s March of 1956, where on 9 August 1956, about 20 000 women from all walks of life marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to protest against legislation aimed at tightening the apartheid government’s control over the movement of black women in urban areas by making them also carry “passes” like black men had to.
Great strides have been made since then to improve the status of women in South Africa, especially post 1994, with women taking up leadership positions in areas previously dominated by men, including both business and political. The National Policy Framework for Women Empowerment and Gender Equality was approved by Cabinet in 2000 and this was followed by a dedicated Ministry for Women in the Presidency.
Women’s month and Women’s Day is a tribute not only to the thousands of women who marched on that day in 1956, but also a tribute to the pioneers of the women’s movement in this country, dating back to 1913, when women like Charlotte Maxeke led the way in establishing the ANC Women’s League and encouraging women to engage in the struggle for freedom.
Since then, women from all walks of life have fought for equality for all women in South Africa, and yes, we have come far, but we still have very far to go. While we do have more rights, and “equal rights for all” is enshrined in the South African Constitution, the reality at ground-level is far from great.
Unfortunately, we are still living in a pretty-much patriarchal society where:
- Women still earn less than men for the same job;
- Girl-children are thought of as being less important;
- Crime is still rife;
- Corrupt politicians and business leaders control everything;
- Women are not respected and are expected to bow down to the will of MAN;
- Men can insult and assault women with seeming impunity;
- There is a Culture of Rape (but don’t dare say so or you will be sanctioned);
- A Grade 10 Life Orientation textbook basically justifies rape (and calls it sexual intercourse) by perpetuating victim-blaming.
- Females from infants of a mere few months old through to Gogos in their 90s are viciously assaulted and raped, and often murdered.
So, after witnessing the actions of the presidential security team against four peaceful female protesters against rape this past week; after listening to the hypocrisy of women in leadership when the president of the ruling party’s Women’s League deflected attention from a silent protest about rape and rather politicising it; when hearing how our “leaders” treat and speak to and about women; when there are still so many women in South Africa suffering indignities every day of their lives… WHAT are we actually celebrating when we celebrate National Women’s Day?
DO you celebrate Women’s Day? I DON’T and I will not until women not only have equality in the eyes of the law but in the eyes of every citizen of this country; not until women get better protection from the courts against those who commit violence against them; not until women are given the respect due to them; not until women can walk around freely without fearing being attacked for men’s sexual pleasures; not until lesbians can live openly and freely and without fear of being mocked, attacked and gang-raped; not until a woman can walk down any road without fear of being attacked because of the way she is dressed because it goes against someone’s customs; not until women are TRULY FREE!!
NO, I do not celebrate National Women’s Day, but I DO celebrate the female activists that are doing their best to make sure that women are safe; that perpetrators are brought to book no matter who they are; that women are TRULY FREE and EQUAL in South Africa and are treated as such.
NO, I do not celebrate National Women’s Day, but I do celebrate every strong woman in South Africa and dedicate the following poem to them:
The Super African Woman That I Am
I am what i am, woman, soul, spirited
I am fearfully and wonderfully created
I am what no man can do without
I am meant to deliver with no doubt
I am behind every successful man
I am what was created out of a rib of a man
I am what I instill today in the future tomorrow
I am that feels the pain others will never feel
I am that bleeds without getting hurt
I am emotional and fragile i easily get hurt
I am that heals by my words and understanding
I am the producer of fine product
I am who’s character is reflected in my conduct
I am the one with my hands open wide for the weak
I am what every child seeks
I am a mentor and role model for many
I am not imaginary
I am strong even when left alone
I am never weak forever
I am the super diva
I am unstoppable
I am capable of doing the impossible
I am self-sufficient
I am self indulgent
I am young and sophisticated in my own way
I am with the semblance of a new day
I hold my head high when its supposed to hang low
I am beautiful, i am joyful
I am the perfect imperfect
I am mistreated, misunderstood and mistaken
I am underestimated and often shaken
I can’t be outrun or outmatched
In being everything that i am
I am what i am, soul and spirited African Woman
~ Abigail Sikwenda ~