Today is a public holiday in South Africa, National Women’s Day. The title of today’s post is the catchphrase that has carried through from those 1950s days, when so many women stood up to protest the government’s repressive and outrageous law that required black people to carry passes.
It is difficult to conceive what it must have been like to live in a society like that, where some people decide to restrict other people’s freedom of movement, and then actually manage to implement that decision across an entire country.
And now I’ve got on to thinking about how far we actually still have to go, in this New South Africa of ours. We have a different government, different laws, a brilliant constitution that acknowledges the rights of all, and yet…how long will it take to change what is in people’s minds and hearts?
And where on earth am I going with this post?! I have just deleted whole paragraphs because the topic is leading me to issues I hadn’t expected to consider when I started writing 15 minutes ago. I should leave this to the sociologists and the academics or, at the very least, choose a different forum to express my views.
So – National Women’s Day. It is a Thursday, the day outside is clear and dry with a pale blue sky, and I can hear birds singing. There is no traffic, just the sound of one of my neighbours trotting out to go for a run. I can just catch a view of the side of Table Mountain from my window here in the spare room of my flat. The yellow stargazers that Rob gave me are open and scent the air like frangipani.
My plans for the day include editing a technical report, crocheting two lampshades for an order, grocery shopping, and an hour of voluntary work at my local police station. Nothing particularly special, but all enjoyable and productive. I count my blessings. If all women everywhere were as fortunate, what a wonderful world this would be.
To be continued…