Story by: Motsieng Mooketsi
South Africa:The country gears up to celebrate women’s month and the national women’s day on 9 August, in a year that has been very tough for women in the country.
The scourge of femicide outbreak has been a burning issue this winter period with the deaths of Karabo Mokoena of Soweto and Nombuyiselo Nombeu in Jouberton sparking fury and outrage. Sadly there has been a continuous trend of brutal murders of dozens other women reported around the country.
The celebration of this day began in 1994 to commemorate the significance of a march of 1956 where about 20, 000 women marched to the union buildings to voice their frustrations at the apartheid government against the pass laws which marginalized many people in South Africa during the apartheid regime, black people were restrict from moving from one place to another as they pleased.
61 years later a lot has changed for women because there’s a voice for them, there are platforms in place and they are given an opportunity to be in government, to vote, to take part in the economy of the country.
Today there are women judges, pilots, business leaders, politicians, DJs, academics, church leaders, and a world of opportunities for women to become whatever they want to be in the country.
The looming ANC National Conference could see for the first time ever in the history of South Africa and that of the African National Congress (ANC) a woman president emerge to lead the country.
Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma is earmarked as a favorite to be the next president of the republic, Dlamini-Zuma was elected chairperson of the African Union in 2012 October she served until January 2017 making her the first woman ever to lead the AU.
Although a lot has changed for women a lot more still needs to be done to emancipate women especially those in rural areas. The South African government is one of the most leading countries in the world, when it comes to women representation in parliament and many other structures of government, making it number one in Africa.
The challenges women face in the country are on a daily basis, these include rape, unemployment, underdevelopment, sexual harassment at the workplace, poverty, different salary margins and many more socio-Economic problems which are impacting negatively in the lives of women.
But! now more than ever around the world the female specie is breaking boundaries and changing perceptions and myths which throughout history have excluded women from leadership positions be it in sports, politics, work, government, business, academics to thrive society.
Today women have their own ministry in government which addresses the obstacles of women empowerment and emancipation, this significant day is not only celebrated in South Africa, there is the international women’s day that is celebrated on 8 March. The United Nations is a key player towards the women empowerment movement globally.
“Wa’thinth umfazi Wa’thinth ibhokodo, “You strike a woman you strike a rock”