Salute to women

Thembalethu Qolo, Nyanga

Women are the backbone of our nation.

As Women’s Month draws to a close, it is my pleasure and honour to record how far the women of South Africa have come.

The presence of women is being felt in all spheres of government and in the private sector.

Every day I witness women doing extraordinary things that will not be things expected of them if the march (to the Union Buildings) of 1956 had not happened.

Since that day many doors have been unlocked. It’s a great thing that August 9 is recognised as Women’s Day and the whole of August as Women’s Month.

Now as we are closing off the month, I’m mostly humbled by women such as Patricia de Lille, who is the mayor, but yet at home a mother, an aunt and a wife to her family.

I’m left with no words for the acts of (public protector) Thuli Madonsela who showed many women that one can be firm and strong and yet be calm and polite despite any discussion.

I’m extremely humbled by women such as Leah Tutu and Wendy Ackerman (wife of Desmond Tutu and Raymond Ackerman respectively) who are not much recognised but when you hear the full story of their husbands that the major unshakable support they received from these women, it’s what kept them going.

I’m humbled by the Olympic gold medallist Caster Semenya who had to fight to be recognised as a female athlete, and faced prejudice and discrimination that still exist in the world.

Women of South African have shown great strength as the backbone of this wonderful nation.

Women are proving the point that they are capable, not based on gender, but on qualities and qualifications.

Many are continuously reminding us that we need to care for the less fortunate in order to grow the nation. (Some of them) do that via establishing NGOs, like Tileng Mabatho who quit her permanent job as a nurse to open the NGO, Phakama Community Health. Like Fiona Brophy who gave up her privileged life to nurture and assist the young entrepreneurs in townships.

These wonderful women are our rocks. We must appreciate them.