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Women’s month: The time has come for women to take their fate into their own hands

Another Women's month has come and gone. Another year has passed since Parliament and President Cyril Ramaphosa promised to address gender-based violence, women's socio-economic rights and empowerment.

Yesterday, the President announced that a second gender-based violence summit will serve as a feedback session to report on what worked and what did not with regard to the government's interventions to combat and eradicate this type of crime.

Today, the Minister in the Presidency, Mondli Gungubele, hosted a dialogue about gender-based violence and femicide in Gugulethu.

Gender-based violence and femicide are rampant in Gugulethu, as well as in the rest of the country, but government is hosting a dialogue – just more empty words.

The dates 1843, 1915, 1940, 1956 all have one thing in common: On those dates, women had reached a point where they were sick and tired, and they, among other things, marched to the Union Buildings to express their dissatisfaction with their lot in life.

They were tired of seeing others being discriminated against. And they were also tired of being the victims of discrimination themselves.

Thousands of women succeeded in uniting themselves, without the internet and everything else that we have at our disposal today.

These days, it is much easier to communicate and organise by utilising all the available resources.

But instead of doing that, women are fighting among themselves. They are on the scrounge, hoping that others will uplift and empower them.

The time has come for South African women to realise that they are responsible for their own deliverance.

Their empowerment and future do not lie with government, or some government programme, or anyone else.

The time has come for women to stand up for themselves, to stand together, and take a strong stand against the oppression and discrimination that they experience every day.

Female entrepreneurs, like the Khumalo sisters from Warrenton in the Northern Cape, who started a poultry business with their savings and went from strength to strength ought to serve as inspiration for other women to also take their fate into their own hands.

Women must be encouraged to empower themselves, because that is truly the only way that they will ever become self-sufficient and reach their full potential.

Women are naturally resilient. They must just start believing in themselves.


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