Celebrating Women’s’ Month during the month of August, and simmering on the need for such a celebration, I realised today that in our diverse nation, rich with culture, the celebration of woman is so is very necessary for our nation to be that of a progressive one. The Office for International Education at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University is currently hosting a short programme in feature writing focusing on freedom and the personal stories of freedom for each of the students participating in the hosted short programme.
The group comprising of students from the University of Mississippi or otherwise known as Ole Miss and students from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, were given the task of recording their own personal stories of freedom. During a round table discussion in one of our lectures, we discussed our themes of our personal; stories. Many were of plan to write about culture or lack thereof and the constraints or lack thereof that is brought about with culture.
From this discussion, I had to question what culture teaches. For many in South Africa, the respect for the elder and respect for especially that of the dominant male in the family, is commonplace within the diversity if culture in South Africa. Not only in South Africa, but as we have been learning of late, working in and with the educational realm of multiculturalism of the Office for International Education at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, this is something that occurs in many cultures around the world, whether it be religious based or not.
A programme coordinated for a group of journalism graduates writing about freedom in the month of August where we as South Africans celebrate the achievements, past and present of woman. Those who fought oppression in South Africa and those who are fighting for right in South Africa today are who we celebrate together with the representatives of the Ole Miss. The ultimate objective: A balance between respect for culture and respect for equality. With the celebration of woman in the wake of oppression in South Africa including the harsh oppressive conditions women have had to face, the coincidental celebration with Ole miss could encapsulate the objective perfectly.
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