Sis Dolly honours women

By Drum Digital
03 August 2012

August 9th is National Women’s Day and commemorates the national march of women to the Union Buildings in 1956 to protest the carrying of a “pass” or “dompas” by black South Africans. The foundation of the march was to provide women and men with the freedom of movement within the country.

The unity of the 1956 march was about women who came together to honour their personal freedom and the freedom of movement and expression of all women. Today we should be doing the same thing for the women in our country.August is Women’s Month in South Africa and the questions it raises for me are always around how we are empowering women to enjoy the freedom that were fought for within this era.

Recently we had the public debate about the weave versus natural hair and which one is “better” for women today. For me the argument contains some valid points around culture and identity of individuals.

What I’m not particularly happy with is the idea of “telling” women what they should be doing with their hair. For us as South African women to honour our past heroines, we need to have more empowering conversations about how we’re uplifting each other, ensuring we know who we are and what we stand for.

The stories of violence against women, of criticism and pulling down of women based on how they choose to wear their hair are not solid foundations for the future for women in our country.

How are we honouring women? How do our young men respect and protect the dignity of women in society?

How are young women lifting up the heritage that was left for them by the women before 1956 and after that point in history?

Apartheid did some instrumental damage to us as a people. If we are to carry our heads high and build a better future we need to gather the strength we have as individuals to support the whole.

My column in Drum magazine often responds to letters that show places where we as a society don’t live according to our vision, values and cultural integrity. We need to start living with the pride we have. A pride that says we have a history and a future.

As we honor women in the month of August we do so with the acknowledgment of the women who have come before us and the women we’re raising to be the champions of the future.

So to the men of our society, we see you. We expect nothing but respect from you for us as women. To the women of our society we need to stand together, to write our history through self empowerment and the empowerment of others.

Through our self pride and through our opportunity to build a legacy and write a history that empowers other women in the future.

Know who you are (your identity), be clear about what you want for yourself (your stand for empowerment) and live into it every day!

Find Love!