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Women’s Day 2023: Women increasingly shoulder a heavier burden in society

In this ever-changing world we live in, the traditional role of women has had to drastically change as well. And yet society still expects the woman to fulfil her role as anchor, mother and educator in the home.

Within just a few decades, this role along with the challenges it poses has increased so sharply in complexity and keeps changing so quickly that the impact it has on society will have to be thoroughly revisited.

Men are, for all practical intents and purposes, surely still men in terms of the broader definition of a few decades ago. But for women, that definition is not applicable at all anymore.

Merely saying that women are increasingly also breadwinners would be an extremely superficial view of the many adjustments that women have had to make in recent times.

In a professional work environment, she is also expected to be competitive and assertive. It is something that most people may overlook, but is no less challenging.

All of this happens in an environment in which traditional families are increasingly falling apart. It is a widely known fact that only about one third of all children in South Africa grow up in a home with both their biological parents.

This affects millions of young children who are also facing enormous challenges, most of which have been totally unheard of in the family context until recently. They still have an urgent need for the soft, guiding hand of a mother.

Meanwhile, the equally fast-growing field of technology is simultaneously a blessing and a curse in this context, seeing as it increasingly has to fulfil the role of informer and even educator.

In South Africa, there are even more challenges with a rapidly rising crime rate, unemployment, poverty and general decline under the ANC government, which has become a daily phenomenon.

This somewhat holistic view of women in modern society and the challenges of her diverse roles is daunting.

Throughout the ages, many cases have been recorded in which grievously wounded soldiers cried out to their mothers during their greatest suffering while on the verge of death. Not to their generals, their fathers or lovers. No, they stretch out their hands and with their last breath call out, “mother, mother …”.

That is the one role of women that has never changed: She remains the light and the core of the family, the quiet force behind the community, and the foundation of society.

Not every woman becomes a mother, but every mother is a woman. Without minimising the unique contributions of other women, the FF Plus shines the spotlight on mothers this Women’s Day.

Today, the FF Plus honours all the women in the world to which everyone can call out, whether in need or joy, “Mother!”

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