Let’s celebrate our women

2015-08-05 06:00
Lehlohonolo Nyetanyane, Social Activist

Lehlohonolo Nyetanyane, Social Activist Foto:

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that time of the year in South Africa when we celebrate women from all walks of life. Women, young and old, are celebrated not only because they bring life to earth, but for the impact they have in other people’s lives.

My greatest respect goes out to the unsung grannies who take care of grandchildren when their daughters leave for Gauteng in search of a golden life. May I also take this opportunity and salute women who defied misogyny and joined the army to protect our nation.

Often times women are sidelined when it comes to employment opportunities, yet they are the ones who ensure that children never go to bed on an empty stomach. A Sesotho adage aptly describes this feminine breed by saying: “Mma ngwana o tshwara thipa ka bohaleng” (A mother grabs the sharp end of the knife).

I will not cease to extend my gratitude to female teachers who teach young learners with disabilities when their biological children do not have disabilities. Widowed and divorced women go the extra mile in the upbringing of their children even if it means assuming a double role of a mother and father simultaneously.

I will not use this year’s celebrations to honour women who are constantly followed around by a camera. I would rather say kudos to ladies who broke out of abusive relationships. These are women who chose not to endure abuse just to show-off diamond rings or be called Mrs So and So.

We hardly ever thank female commercial farmers who wake up in the wee hours of the day to ensure South Africa’s food security. At this time, my heart goes out to rape survivors who never considered suicide, but continue to walk tall irrespective of social stigma.

Due credit must be given to female judges who broke the ranks of patriarchy and joined the legal fraternity. These women play a pivotal role in making sure that the administration of justice is no longer “gendered”. Equally praiseworthy are women in blue who run around at night combating crime and keeping our lives safe.

My heroine is a teenage girl who does not make a career out of flirting with married men twice her age. Bravo to women who celebrate strides a “sister” has made and not try to pull her down.

Not enough recognition is given to ladies who would rather sweat than sleep their way up the corporate ladder. I dare say there is more substance to women than pink-coded cosmetics and weight-loss products. I honour mothers who have single-handedly raised abandoned babies they had picked up from rubbish bins.

Those female fire-fighters who rush into a burning house to fulfil a call of duty without thinking about their beloved husbands back home, deserve a round of applause. I will not be tempted to say behind every successful man there is a woman.

As a matter of fact – alongside every successful man there is a determined woman. Barrack Obama sums it up by saying: “The single best indicator of whether a nation will succeed, is how it treats its women.”

) To contribute to this column, on any topic, send your piece of about 500 words to Jabulani.Dlamini@volksblad.com


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