That South Africa is coming!
By Gugu Cherryl
When I saw the topic I struggled to find words to express positively what being a woman in South Africa feels like – maybe this will be a vent session?
I was celebrating my 28th birthday last Thursday, and I wanted to go out and have fun, go to a lodge far from school, just to get away from my books and the stress they bring. I love my course, but a lady needs a break every now and then.
I do not own a car, I am single, so I cannot really ask a ‘boyfriend’ to take me there. To be quite frank, with the number of abductions that have been happening around my area, I don’t think I trust taxi drivers or any driver for that matter, to drive me, alone, to a lodge or any place I’d want to go to. Especially since I lost someone close due to taxi abductions.
There are so many things I want to do, so many places I want to explore, I have recently discovered my love for style, there are a lot of fashion styles I want to explore, and take pictures everywhere, just to ‘create content’, how I wish the crime rate was less, so that I could be free from the fear of exploring my dreams.
The government is doing a lot to ensure that women are also recognised in society, through NPO’s, NGO’s etc. However, I wish I knew how to secure tenders, I wish I knew how to write a winning proposal, I wish I was exposed to opportunities, or rather I was exposed to opportunities earlier. I doubt I would have been where I am now, okay, maybe I would have been where I am now, but perhaps I would have had something tangible on the side to balance my life. Could haves and would haves do not work now, I am here, what does being a woman in South Africa feel like?
Well to be quite honest, I have been watching a lot of YouTube videos about how other women live in other countries, and I am actually glad that in South Africa I have a ‘voice’. It is not loud enough, yet, but I still can voice my opinion and a few people can listen and take a few things from it, learn and grow, while in other countries, women are treated like infants.
In some countries if a woman gets raped, it’s her fault, what was she wearing? What did she do to the man? It is always the woman’s fault and never the man, whereas, in South Africa, we stand and fight against Rape and abuse, and necessary measures will be taken. Even though sometimes the results are not up to our satisfaction, the fact that measures were taken means that we are moving somewhere, and women are recognised in society.
To bridge the male ‘privilege’ gap, women are given equal opportunities as men, and sometimes given preference, even though this is sometimes abused, but it shows that as a country we are undergoing transformation, and soon, not everyone may be happy with the transformed South Africa, but at least everyone will be considered and given opportunities not based on race or sex, but based on capacity and talent etc.
South Africa is getting there, there is hope. Being a woman in South Africa gives me a voice, that I can voice out my cries and they will be heard. It means having presence, the opportunities given to men can also be given to me too. It means freedom, as much as there is crime nearly all over the world, measures are being taken to ensure safety, gadgets are being released daily and psychologists are availing themselves on a daily to help alleviate the anxiety and stress that comes with dealing with life especially now during Covid-19.
However, I wish for a South Africa where women do not fight for recognition, where women do not fight to be heard, I wish for a South Africa that sees women as human and not their gender. That South Africa is coming.
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