South Africa celebrated National WomenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Day on Tuesday August 9th with a public holiday. This day commemorates 9 August 1956 when women participated in a national march to petition against pass laws (legislation that required African persons to carry a document on them to Ã¢â‚¬ËœproveÃ¢â‚¬â„¢ that they were allowed to enter a Ã¢â‚¬Ëœwhite areaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢).
Even though International WomenÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Day is celebrated on 8th March worldwide, South AfricaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s public holiday pushed me to reflect on some of the reasons we should rejoice in our womanhood.
As Toni Morrison so eloquently puts it, we have Ã¢â‚¬Å“invented ourselves.Ã¢â‚¬Â Much of what we have invented to define ourselves has been resourceful and productive. We are loyal and loving. Many of us know how to persist and persevere. We are creative and have vast experience making a way out of no way. Without a doubt, we are the most resilient members of the human race and that on its own is cause for celebration!
Need a bit more causes to thank God that you were born female?
To start with, only a woman holds the responsibility and joy of nurturing a human being in her womb from conception to delivery. Even though men play a significant role in reproduction and some are actively involved in pregnancy and childbirth, they are mere bystanders.
It is the woman in whose body the seed is planted and it is through her that the miracle of life unfolds. In nine long, tedious but exciting months, fingers, thumbs, a heart, kidneys, lungs and other organs are created. Through her, a new life is given unto this earth. IsnÃ¢â‚¬â„¢t it amazing?
If you are Christian, you know that GodÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s son Jesus Christ was born to a woman through the Holy Spirit. When he rose from the grave, Jesus first appeared to a group of women.
Men are the head and the breadwinners of the family yet todayÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s women are obliged financially to become joint breadwinners and climb the corporate ladder while running their homes and raising their children.
Irrespective of how tired they are at the end of the day, they still find the strength to cater to their husbands, supervise the house help and assist the little ones with their homework; all this with no compensation whatsoever! In many households, women care for the sick and vulnerable. Their work is critical for social cohesion and stability in our nations.
Women smile when they want to scream, they sing when they want to cry. They are resourceful and forgiving.
A womanÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s touch can cure any ailment. They know that a hug and a kiss can heal a wounded spirit. They bring joy and hope. They give compassion and ideals. They give moral support to their family and friends.
It is imperative to salute the women of our countries, who are clearly a powerful and reliable engine for change as we try to build a better Africa.