March is the month we celebrate International Women’s Month and at Art of Superwoman, we are so passionate and invested in celebrating and highlighting women who are about The Business of making moves with the future of our communities in the long run and doing it how they feel called and led!
This year’s Human Rights theme, “The year of unity, socio-economic renewal and nation-building” and Women’s Day theme “Gender equality today for a sustainable tomorrow” are calling and leading us to have a conversation that goes beyond the surface in our thinking about the future of the societies we need and will leave for our children. The nation building, the growth and the trees we are growing need us to be intentional about what we are planting, and about how we are nurturing the spaces and growing where we are planted.
It is time now more than ever to place women at the epicenter.
In AoS Magazine Issue 1, 2020, my editor’s note held the following words:
“Women are still restricted from moving up the corporate ladder. Women are still restricted from moving up the rich list. Women are still restricted from moving freely without fear of being harassed and sexually abused. We are held down by the way men have been framed to view women and how these values are reinforced in society.”
So how are we to partake in this unity, in this socio-economic renewal and nation building if we are not at the table? The state of the world has been unbearable of late, and the days do tend to feel like an upward climb for many women. Women are bearing the brunt when the tensions and wars arise. “Women do not receive what they need in emergencies,” according to the report commissioned by the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), the Progress of the World’s Women 2002, Volume 1 report, entitled ’’Women, War, Peace: The Independent Experts Assessment on the Impact of Armed Conflict on Women and Women’s Role in Peace-building. “They need sufficient food, safe drinking water, protection from violence, basic primary and reproductive health care, and psychological support. Even though war-affected women have greater needs, they often end up with few, if any, services.”
In this month, we continue to profile women who speak back to the heavy burden that women carry Cooking, Cleaning, Caring, and balancing their Careers. We don’t want to glamourise these efforts, but we are reshaping and challenging previous norms and the exploitation and exclusion that women have had to contend with for generations.
We are reshaping.
At the heart of it, we ask: What does emancipation look like for South African women?
At Art of Superwoman, we also believe in and are unapologetic advocates for the socio-economic advancement and emancipation of women in general and youth in particular. One of the most impactful ways women can be emancipated is through freely exercising their democratic right and power to vote.
As Gloria Steinem puts it “The voting booth is still the only place that a pauper equals a billionaire, and any woman equals any man. It is the only place on earth in which everybody’s equal. If we didn’t fall for the idea that our vote doesn’t count – an idea nurtured by those who don’t want us to use it – we could elect feminists, women of all races, and some diverse men, too, who represent the female half of the country equally. It’s up to us. One vote does in fact count.”
About 31 countries on our African continent go to elections in the next two years, but if black women and youth of our continent vote, their vote is seeped in strife, turmoil, contention and bitterness, a struggle to which anyone would shrink.
No nation can prosper without an emancipated women and youth cohort. For women and youth to enjoy this democratic right in our lifetime and for our continent to prosper, we need a reset – we need to Reset Africa. This requires our beautiful continent to rediscover a new path to greatness in the modern world. In resetting South Africa, and every other African democracy, we need to reset the strife, the turmoil, and the contentious conditions the youth and women (especially black) are faced with when they decide to be participants at the ballot. We must reset the structural inequalities pertaining to the youth and woman vote. We must have a clear plan to improve the lives of all who live on our continent. We must create sustainable businesses, jobs, and safe spaces for all to work, live, learn and play. We must improve our infrastructure and basic services. We must root out corruption and improve governance and accountability across all government spheres. We must increase women and youth representation in leadership positions across government, business, and politics.
We must all have a collective mandate of ensuring that Africa does not remain a third-world continent despite being blessed with mineral resources, vast of arable land, great weather and some of the most incredible people and cultures on earth. Women and youth must be at the center of it all. Nothing about us, without us.
As we begin, this month, we have published profiles of the woman of AoS’s 2020 Issue 1 Magazine. We will close the month with our Issue 2 announcement.