All praise to young women fighting inequality

Although almost one third (29%) of senior roles in South Africa are now filled by women, one in five local businesses (20%) still have no women in senior positions.
Although almost one third (29%) of senior roles in South Africa are now filled by women, one in five local businesses (20%) still have no women in senior positions.
Image: 123RF/ALEKSANDR DAVYDOV

On August 9 we celebrated Women’s Day where we remember the strong and courageous women of 1956 who marched to the Union Buildings to fight against a system which intended to control and lessen them as members of society.

Their bravery and sacrifice paved a way for us to live in a society where we are not defined by our gender. Although a lot has been done to bridge the gap between men and women, we still have a long way to go. Women and children continue to suffer social ills from unemployment, domestic violence, and workplace inequality.

According to the 2018 Grant Thornton International Business Report, women still lag their male counterparts in business. Although almost one third (29%) of senior roles in SA are now filled by women, one in five local businesses (20%) still have no women in senior positions.

This year’s presidential keynote address was delivered under the theme: "The Year of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke, Realising Women’s Rights". We need to ask ourselves, were Mama Charlotte Maxeke alive today, what would she say; would she be happy with the progress we as a country have made to protect women?

In his keynote address President Cyril Ramaphosa said: “Let us together raise a new generation of men and women who understand that the rights and freedoms guaranteed by our constitution belong to all, men and women alike.”

This Women’s Month I acknowledge the young remarkable women in the forefront of fighting against gender-based violence, unemployment, inequality in the workplace, for better education and better service delivery for all. We celebrate you; despite the struggles you continue to break walls each day to fight to be heard.

Zamansele Mhlambi, Pretoria

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