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Women’s Day: we need more heroes

Women’s Day: we need more heroes

The theme for this year’s Women’s Month is: “Women’s Socio-Economic Rights and Empowerment: Building Back Better for Women’s Improved Resilience”. This theme shows us that there are several critical issues our women are still facing today. Issues that should have been dealt with many years ago, yet still show their ugly heads in a country that is being crippled by crime and lawlessness. This Women’s Day, make it your business to understand the issues and play your part in ending these negative issues which hold women down. Be a hero for our women, like some of these heroes who refused to accept the unfairness, stood their ground, and truly made a difference way back in 1956!

Here are some modern-day heroes whose example you could follow:

African hair and the challenges faced by schoolgirls

“Asking me to modify my hair is like asking me to remove my blackness”. This is what Zulaikha Patel said at the age of 13 when she was told to wear her hair according to the school rules which were not put in place with ethnic hair in mind. She stood up against the outdated rule and lead a protest against racism so that the school rules were more inclusive. The rules were changed.

Gender-bias and discrimination in athletics

“Some of the occurrences leading up to and immediately following the Berlin World Championships have infringed not only my rights as an athlete but also my fundamental and human rights, including my rights to dignity and privacy”. This is what Mokgadi Caster Semenya said after scores of people objected to her running as a female in a female race. She stood tall and didn’t back down. She still stands tall and is proud of her achievements.

Standing up for albinism, their human rights

“I learn how strong people are every day. I learn how people are survivors”. This is what Thando Hopa said in her fight for people with albinism. She took this fight all the way to the United Nations policy debates. Not only is she a sexual crime prosecutor, but she is also an actor, fashion model and a cultural leader. A true hero for people with albinism.

Showing the world that it’s time to celebrate our women

“The world is ready for women and their stories. The world is ready to hear what women have to say”. This is what Bonang Matheba was quoted as saying to get a positive conversation started around women and the strength they carry, the enormous contribution they can make to society if they are treated as equals. Never underestimate the power of a woman!

We can make a difference too by supporting each other as women

As women, we should be supporting each other in this fight against gender inequality and gender-based violence. We should be aware of what is going on in our homes, our communities, our schools and our universities. If you or anyone around you is a victim of gender-based violence or discrimination, there are people and groups that you can turn to for help.

People Opposing Women Abuse (POWA’s) vision is “to promote a safe and equal society intolerant of all forms of violence against women and girls in all our diversity, where we are treated with respect and dignity and our rights are promoted”. You can contact them using these details if you need help or advice for your own circumstances or for someone who you care for:

Head Office: Berea, Johannesburg

Postal Address: PO Box 93416, Yeoville 2143 Johannesburg

Telephone: 011 642 4345 / 6

Fax: 011 484 3195


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