By Katlego Moncho
60 years since more than 20 000 South African women of all races came together to stand against the Urban Areas Act of 1950, otherwise known as the pass laws.
I was reading up on this and I was intrigued by how these women came together in a time where the laws at that time didn’t even allow them to touch, let alone look at each other. They knew that interacting with each other was a risk on its own, and yet they came together because they knew that they had a message to convey, and come high or low, they would stand together and do it.
I come from an age group that can still say that they grew up being told what women should and shouldn’t do, and where they are meant to be at certain points in their lives. Today’s younger generation, otherwise known as Generation Z, is growing up in a world that is slowly but surely realizing that women can actually do whatever they set their mind to.
I place stress on slowly.
It’s simple really; women are proving every single day that they can do whatever men can. I’m obviously not referring to anything of the physical aspect, even if there are some women dominating in such areas as well. I am talking about how we are starting to show that we may even be better than men in some of these things.
Growing up, we were told that women only had one purpose in life: to have children and to take care of the household. Getting middle school and high school education was a rarity, and university education was but a dream.
With the recent Graduation Season, as it has been dubbed by many, I watched on with pride as posts among posts were created, liked and shared of women who were breaking the very boundaries they were raised within, and actually getting a tertiary qualification.
One story particularly stood out to me. It was a post about a woman in her late thirties who just obtained her PhD. She’s married with two children, her eldest being eleven. She’s maintained a job while studying, and her husband, who works as a financial manager for a fairly big company, supported her through it all.
Many would be quick to say that she wouldn’t have done it without her husband, but that’s a statement I would gladly contest. He’s a financial manager, and that on its own tells you just how much of a busy man he is.
However, I tip my hat off to her more than him.
She’s a mother, a wife, an employee and a student all in one. She went after her dreams, both career and family related, and through her achievement, proved two things: it can be done, and it’s never too late to do it.
The current time we live in, has allowed us access to information that our elders weren’t afforded; information that educates us of our worth. We are worth more than bearing children and being submissive to whichever lucky man gets to marry us. We are more than capable of achieving far more than we have been taught we can.
We can change the world as we know it.
Which brings me to my point.
While the employment sector is still widely male dominated, it should be noted that women are on the rise as well. With so many women getting educated and showing that they are worth more than being assistants and cheerleaders, men are beginning to realize that they do have competition after all.
The even more beautiful part about this is that more and more women are realizing that we get nowhere by bashing each other, and that it is only by raising each other that we not only get ahead, but prove that we are a force to be reckoned with.
Women empowerment is the new Male Domination, and the world had better watch out for these moves about to be made.