These young girls' questions to African leaders remind us of a letter Meghan Markle once wrote as a child

Dear Mr President
Dear Mr President

Every year, 8 March marks International Women's Day - a day on which, according to the United Nations (UN), "women are recognised for their achievements without regard to divisions, whether national, ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic or political."

It has also become a day where women all over the world address issues facing women like gender-based violence, the gender pay gap and women empowerment beyond fluff campaigns.

READ MORE: AT A GLANCE: When it comes to the most women in parliament, SA ranks number 10

As such, the UN declares that "the empowerment of women continues to be a central feature of the UN's efforts to address social, economic and political challenges across the globe."

Much like the Motsepe Foundation's Women's Unit, which is concerned with gender development goals in the African continent. And while the panel of formidable women at the second annual Motsepe Foundation International Women's Day Summit may have given us plenty to mull over today, the voices that really had us thinking were those of young girls. 

One in absentia and the other, present at the summit. 

The first is Daisy, a young girl from East London, who wrote President Cyril Ramaphosa a letter filled with questions we perhaps didn't all know we could ask at that age. 

READ MORE: 11-year-old girls are being taught feminist self-defence as part of sexual and gender-based violence awareness

She asked, "can girls be presidents?"

News24 reported on the contents of this letter that has since made the rounds on WhatsApp this morning, highlighting how "Daisy assured the president that she was fond of his work as a president and wondered how difficult it was to rule the world."

Little girls wrote a letter to Cyril Ramaphosa

Screenshot image

President Cyril Ramaphosa's response to Daisy was even more endearing, as he wrote, "They can be teachers, scientists or astronauts - and to answer your question, yes they can be presidents too."

READ MORE: History is made: NASA has its first ever all-woman crew carrying out a spacewalk 

The president is in East London today, where he introduced the Good Green Deeds programme today and promised Daisy a visit after school. 

Another young lady who asked table-shaking questions today is Busisiwe Khauoe, a 16-year-old matric pupil from Protea Glen, who took to the podium at Sandton Convention Center in the presence of the likes of Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe, Patrice Motsepe, Honourable Justice Mogoeng Mogoeng, Prof. Mamokgethi Phakeng and Rwandan ambassador His Excellency Vincent Karega. 

Busisiwe's impassioned speech was premised on a strong stance against gender inequality and men's entitlement, saying "we need to move along with the times." 

"We need to stop being viewed as objects by men. Men do still feel like they're superior to women. We grow up [belonging to] our fathers and when you reach a certain age, you 'belong to' your husband, so we can't still be living like that - times have changed," the aspiring media student further told us in an interview.

READ MORE: When Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said 'ukubekezela' is a no-no for her, we all stood up and listened

She also raised another thought in her speech about the implicit messages little things such as a king-sized bed being bigger (and pricier) than a queen-sized bed send out to people about the way we view genders. 

Her classmate, 18-year-old Lethabo Montsiwa, had a few questions of her own to our leaders after learning that Rwanda's MPs are predominantly women and young. 

"It doesn't make sense for our leadership - governed by people for the people - to be senior (majority are over 60 years of age) whereas our population is so young. "

These young girls' remarks and world views remind us of 11-year-old Meghan Markle's feminist letter against a sexist Procter & Gamble advert that stated that "women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans."

Refinery29 reported that this letter earned an interview on Nick News where she said "I don’t think it is right for kids to grow up thinking these things, that just mom does everything."

And about 25 years later, she became a humanitarian and duchess loved all over the world for her selfless work. So it looks the future is just as bright for Daisy, Busisiwe and Lethabo.

They didn't say "listen to the kids, bro" for no reason.

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