We have walked such a long road to secure a just and fair South Africa where women can stand confidently alongside men as equal partners. Today, on Women’s Day, we salute those who have gone the extra mile in the past and are doing so in the present so that our boys and girls will coexist with greater freedom and joy.
Both Covid19 and the unrest have placed enormous pressures on us. This is indeed a very challenging time in the history of our country. And yet through all the darkness, the beauty shines through again and again. Let us commit to grow that which is beautiful and good and support men and women to bring balance within the life of the family and community. We can choose despair and curl up into a ball and give up or we can stand strong and reach out to one another, overlook our frailties and combine to build the present and future we want. Think about the grave challenges our compatriots faced at the turn of the century when they were excluded from the political system of our country, restricted in their movement and deprived of their land. This is what Charlotte Mannya Maxeke and her generation of women lived through. They did not curl up and despair. They moved forward inch by inch to carve away the restrictions imposed upon them and gifted us with greater possibilities.
Hope lies deep in the hearts of millions of us and it is that hope that has always propelled us forward.
Lets use today and this month to dig deep within ourselves to find the courage to further build the hope needed to support us through these difficult times in our country and in the world.
Zubeida Jaffer, journalist, author and activist
9 August 2021.