Posted on Thursday, August 27, 2015

Women: the everyday heroes among us

In Women’s Month, South Africa commemorates the actions of the women who, on 9 August 1956, marched on the Union Buildings to protest the pass laws of the apartheid government. Every year, we celebrate those everyday women, who, through their convictions and their actions became heroes. While there are many battles for equality, freedom and justice still to be won, we often forget the many ways in which all women are heroes every day.

This blog is dedicated to all the heroes who walk among us, every day. Here are some of the reasons we believe that you’re incredible.

You start each day meaning to do better!
Every day, you start the day with a plan – a plan for doing the things you have to do and helping the people you want to help . This optimism and determination to improve things around you are part of what makes you who you are, so we acknowledge that starting each day with the right foot forward is hard work made manifest.

You consider others
Whether you have children, a partner, family members, colleagues, friends or employees, we know that you give them a lot of thought. You are aware of how your actions affect them, and you try to do what’s best for everyone, not just yourself. While it’s important to acknowledge that you can’t always keep everyone happy, we’ve seen how hard you try.

You make a huge contribution to your family, our economy and the future
If you have a job or take care of your family’s needs, you are making a contribution to our country’s economy and its future. Your willingness to support others, to prepare children for the life ahead or to earn a living keeps everything ticking over. For the contribution that you make with such commitment – in all areas of life – we recognise your efforts.

You care about your community and the world
You take your empty wine bottles to the recycling depot, you try to buy fair trade coffee and organic bananas, and you make sure that you hang on to your last R5 so that you can give it to the guy who watched your car. These random acts of charity and eco-awareness all contribute to making the world a better place – one action at a time. It’s great that you care.

You think about the sisterhood of women
Whether or not you identify as a feminist, you care deeply about women’s rights and equality. No matter what your choices as an individual, you recognise that other women are entitled to their choices and self-expression too. This belief in the freedom to be a woman, enjoyed in a country where it is enshrined in the constitution, is a powerful thing, and you’re probably not even aware of the ways in which you express it, every day.

You give love
Every woman loves someone – you love selflessly and with care and consideration. There are people whose needs you would put before your own, and those people’s lives are enriched by your love. Never stop giving so selflessly and openly. You are our hero.

You are a hero to yourself
Of course, with all the work that you put in to helping others, remember that you are your own hero too. When you take the time to heal, replenish or revitalise – in a stolen ten-minute coffee break or over a let-it-all-out dinner with your best friends – you are looking after yourself so that you can continue looking after others. Don’t ever give up on you!

Happy Women’s Month
Women of South Africa, we see all the wonderful things you do, every day, to make other’s lives better, easier, less complicated and happier. You’re all heroes to us. We salute you! 

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