With women’s day, 2021 just around the corner, have you stopped to consider how you will be celebrating the 9th of August this year? With our fast-paced lives juggling work commitments and family, we can easily be forgiven for letting this day slip by unnoticed. But, if you do, you may be missing out on celebrating some of the greatest women known to the twenty-first century. These brave, courageous women fought for freedom. The freedom we all take for granted each day was hard-won, and so it seems a shame to forget those who dedicated their time and lives to help free and empower women everywhere. We have a voice. Let’s use it proudly and regularly, don’t allow your voice to fall silent by omitting to ‘speak’; we owe it to those who have gone before.
Women’s Day 2021
History of Women’s Day
What is the true meaning of women’s day? The historical significance of this special day is why every woman should be celebrated not just on this one day but every day. It’s the reason why women are awesome. South African history remembers the 9th of August, 1956, when twenty-thousand women of all races joined forces and marched on the union buildings in Pretoria. In protest to the unimaginative laws about to be passed by Prime minister J.G Strijdom, requiring women to carry a pass. These brave women with composed dignity stood together in silent protest for half an hour and then sang the freedom song after handing over their petition: Wathint` abafazi, Strijdom! Which coined the phrase ‘wathint’ abafazi, wathint’ imbokodo’ (You Strike a Woman, You Strike a Rock). Pretty powerful if you take a moment to consider the phrase and the strength it describes.
But, it’s not just South African women who have suffered; our sisters around the globe have also faced the brutal inequalities of living in an imbalanced world since the dawn of time. Yes, we still get blamed for ‘the apple,’ but strangely, no one saw Eve force Adam to eat that apple! The point is that through time women have always been on the metaphorical back-foot. Before the 1800s, which saw the dawn of the suffragette movement in America, women were expected only to have home-based interests, family, husband cooking, and cleaning. Sound familiar to South African sisters out there? But, after the suffragette movement, women were allowed to vote, earn a salary, or own property without needing permission from their husbands.
And yet, after all of their endeavours, one of the most significant areas of inequality still seen globally today is in the workplace, which sees men earn more than women doing the same job. This is known as the gender pay gap. According to My wage, women in many countries continue to earn less than their male counterparts by as much as forty per cent. The point is that historically women have struggled for freedom, and today this struggle continues. So let’s never forget what our Sisters have done for us by becoming complacent.
Why women are awesome
We change history, define humanity, fight for equality, have children, manage careers, and put four different dinners on the table at the end of the day. All while food shopping, worrying about our work-life balance, and babysitting the neighbours kids. And that’s just on an average Monday! So who dares to question why women are awesome? On a more serious note, there are some powerful women around today who, through hard work and constantly pushing for change, are the successful individuals we as fellow women can be proud of today.
Awesome South African women
Managing Director of Mjoli Development and Eziko Investments and the National Urban Reconstruction and Housing Agency (NURCHA) founder has provided more than three billion Rand in funding houses in low-income communities.
Founder and executive director of Pick ‘n Pay stores, she is well known for her work in environmental conservation. Wendy also teaches at the English Academy in Johannesburg.
Dr. Judy Dlamini
She is an author, qualified doctor and holds an MBA and Ph.D. in business leadership. Dlamini is also the owner of the Luminance retail chain and chairperson of the Mbekeni Group. In addition, she runs an education business called Sifiso Learning Group that assists pupils with further studies.
How to Celebrate Women’s Day
Forget the usual flowers and presents, as women, let’s do something meaningful this women’s day! Here are a few ideas:
Set up a virtual coffee date with female colleagues
Talking is a great way to collaborate and come up with new ideas. Discuss experiences in the workplace and how to overcome difficulties and enjoy success.
Donate to Charity
Donate to a charity that supports women either globally or locally.
Roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty
Volunteer for a few hours at a local community centre that supports women.
Celebrate the fabulous women in your life
Send a text message or card to the women who have influenced your life and say ‘thank you.’
Take time to celebrate yourself
Love yourself a little this women’s day. Do something that makes you happy, throw a party, binge watch your favourite tv program or dance like crazy to your favourite song; it’s your choice, and you don’t need permission!
However, you choose to celebrate this women’s day, remember we are a formidable force; we are the immovable foundation on which nations build their empires.
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