Proud of being a woman

2008-08-26 00:00

As we celebrate Women’s Month one cannot help but be proud of the sacrifices that women have made to get us where we are today.

Granted, we still have a long way to go and at times we are our own worst enemies. We need to liberate ourselves. I laugh myself silly each time I hear a woman insist that her boyfriend or husband should also do house chores as we are now all equal. It’s sad to realise that as women we struggle to understand or make a mockery of our rights by misinterpreting them and not understanding that they have nothing to do with chores around the house. It goes deeper that that. It covers issues like equal employment opportunities and non-discrimination against women.

I guess some us are lucky as we have positive role models. I have a mother who has taught me to embrace my female form in every sense of the word and, above all, be proud of being a woman.

What does it mean to be a woman and what is the difference between a woman and a girl? I have come to realise that it means different things to different women but it dawned on me the other day that I can stand up as a woman and be counted as I’m no longer a girl.

I have sacrificed a lot to be able to look at myself in the mirror and be proud of the person looking back at me. To be a woman is not about beauty or what type of car your boyfriend drives or even how much money he spends on you. We measure our womanhood by things that don’t have substance or don’t build our characters. Some of us don’t understand the impact that the march on August 9, 1956, had on us. From that day onwards no one could deny that the African National Congress (ANC) Women’s League was a political force to be recognised.

We now celebrate Women’s Month because of those 20 000 women who risked everything and marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to fight for our rights as women.

Pride is not something that you inherit, nor can it be taught. Let us be mothers, sisters, wives friends and women who hold our heads up high not because of how pretty we are or how much money or education we have, but because it allows us to be proud of the contribution we make to our families and to society.

Transformation from a girl to a woman is something that happens within you and I have discovered it has nothing to do with age. I wish every woman a blessed Women’s Month. Hopefully the men in our lives will celebrate this month with us by realising that it is only one month out of 12 during which deserve special mention and attention.

We all have great stories to tell about the women in our lives and how much they have taught us, and the difference they have made in our lives. We are dealing with many challenges within society and within our families. Walking home from work every day I watch as young girls carry on as if their lives have no meaning and I cannot help but wonder what kind of women they will one day become.

Parental responsibility comes with instilling morals and values in our children and not waiting for the world to do it for us. If we fail our children it means that we have failed as women and we have no one else to blame but ourselves.

At times I wish that I was a politician because I would then have the power to make a difference. We always say that we need the government to do this and do that for us but what are we doing for ourselves? If we want to see miracles happening in our lives we need to be the miracles within our societies.

I celebrate being a woman every day by sticking to my principles and my beliefs.

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