The 1000 Women 1 Voice Trust in partnership with Pick ‘n Pay have provided business empowerment and networking opportunities since 2020. Focusing on fundraising and creating awareness for domestic violence, gender-based violence (GBV) and abuse.
In celebration of Women’s Month, we came together to have conversations on the various issues that are critical for achieving gender equality. Allowing entrepreneurial women from various backgrounds to share and learn about the difficulties women in business face, and how we are working to overcome them.
Here are some key take aways, as inspired by Rachel Kolisi that we wanted to share. Some practical ways we can all celebrate and support the women of South Africa and the world:
10 ways to celebrate Women’s Month this August:
1. Eliminate comparison, for it is the thief of all joy and development
The moment you walk out into the world, consider all women to be your sister’s. The only way forward is to develop a world where all women feel safe and supported to grow and develop into the most inspired version of themselves. We can contribute to inspiring others, simply by seeing the potential in them.
2. Support an NGO
- People Opposing Women Abuse POWA is an organisation considered to be expert’s on women’s rights issues, they are consulted by the private sector, government and civil society on educational and decision-making matters pertaining to women’s safety.
- Langa For MenA male founded initiative based in Langa that are working to educate and inspire young boys to be protectors not perpetrators. Understanding that GBV starts and ends with men. These men share they message and efforts through charitable food and sanitary drives and hold spaces for men to come together and share their perspectives on gender equality.
- TEARS FoundationThe TEARS Foundation provides access to crisis intervention, advocacy, counselling, and prevention education services for those impacted by domestic violence, sexual assault and child sexual abuse. Confidential services are provided to all victims at no charge.
- 1000 Women 1 VoiceThe 1000 Women initiative has been creating awareness, organising safe spaces for women and mobilising resources to amplify the voices of women and girls in South Africa since 2003. They have tasked themselves to mobilise resources and give grants to organisations that support, raise awareness and provide opportunities for women and children who have been affected by violence. They provide solidarity to women, amplify the voices of activists and advocate for change that can end GBV and femicide. They do this through various projects, grants, and training and fundraising initiatives to ensure that women and girls are empowered, inspired, educated, and equipped for daily life.
- The Saartjie Bartmaan Centre for Women & ChildrenThe Saartjie Baartman Centre for Women and Children (SBCWC ) is a one-stop centre for women and children who are survivors of abuse. Their vision is the creation of a safe and secure society and a human rights culture where women and children are empowered to exercise their full rights.
- Sonke Gender JusticeSonke is a South African-based non-profit organisation working throughout Africa. They believe women and men, girls and boys can work together to resist patriarchy, advocate for gender justice and achieve gender transformation. Sonke recognises that effecting sustained change to gender roles and relations requires addressing the forces that shape individual attitudes and community norms and practices – traditions and cultures, government policies, laws and institutions, civil society organisations, the media and the family – as well as underlying economic, political and social pressures.
3. Offer mentoring to young girls
It is up to us to assist young girls in need of guidance and support in realising their dreams. Every young person needs someone to look up to. That person, their mentor, can completely reshape their lives. Mentorship for young girls is important. When we support the empowerment and growth of young girls through mentorship we improve the lives of everyone around us.
4. Employ women and make workspaces more supportive to women with children
While women are slowly gaining traction in the workplace, women can only do so much to promote themselves. Organisations and leaders must step in and begin eliminating bias while supporting and empowering female employees. From hiring to mentorship, there are myriad ways to support women at your organization.
You have the power to make them feel welcomed, included, and supported. When employees feel empowered at work, they are likely to have stronger job performance, job satisfaction, and commitment to the organization.
5. Back a girl child
Consider sponsoring school fees for young girls who cannot afford school and school supplies. There is no doubt you will transform the life of a girl with a dedicated sponsorship—girls tend to perform higher than their counterparts because of the relationships they build with someone who believes in them.
6. Back a women’s sports team
Women sports, for years gone, has faced countless hurdles in Africa, with the continent majority plumping for better attention on the part of their male counterparts. As such, gender discrimination in sports remain deeply entrenched and tolerated in most parts of Africa. Such perceived prejudicial treatment has re-awakened issues regarding gender inequity. And all we have to do? Learn to understand sport that women are working hard at and get involved.
7. Create and sustain platforms for boys to learn, and feel safe
Gender-based violence will not end through women’s efforts. It starts with teaching young boys on the effects of harmful social norms that pertain to toxic masculinity. How those social norms look in real life, the negative impact that have and how they can be avoided through education.
8. Participate in meaningful conversations with family and friends
Talk about the objectification of women and gender-based violence. Changing perceptions cannot be legislated. Changing perceptions to change behaviour at a personal level, will require specific interventions aimed at re-socialising boys and men. This could be as simple as talking about the historical suppression of women, and reframing some of those narratives to be more empowered for a better future.
9. Whatever is suppressing you, make sure it gets out of the way
Shift your perspective to overcome your obstacles. When you do this, it acts as fuel for your ability to handle challenges and get passed them. It boosts your sense of self-confidence and it eliminates the sense of helplessness. This attitude shift is most likely to motivate you to take action and get you to successfully rise above a suppressive situation.
10. Know that you are powerful.
Knowing your power will make you a force of nature, it allows you to create and maintain strong relationships both in and out of any industry. It allows you to stand up for yourself, negotiate for yourself, demonstrate your strength while admitting when you’re wrong. It takes power to allow yourself to be vulnerable and compassionate without losing yourself in the process. The good news is that we all have power, it does not come from the outside. It’s time we all learn how to connect with the power within, own it, amplify it. It’s a part of who you are.
“A woman is the full circle. Within her is the power to create, nurture and transform.”
– Diane Mariechild
Happy Women’s Month. We see your strength every single day. It’s what inspires us to do what we do!