On International Women’s Day, I feel drawn to display my feminist side and to also explain more about who I am and why I feel so strongly about equality of all races and genders.
I was born in South Africa in 1983, where many aspects of the political, social, gender and education landscape that would now be at the very least frowned upon, was in fact considered the norm. Apartheid was abolished in 1994, death from starvation didn’t rock your core because it was just a part of life in Africa as we knew it and yes women did tend to have a more traditional role in the household. In fact, if they were working they were categorically earning less than men in the same roles.
I come out of a family of strong women. My great grandmother on my Mum’s side was a petite 5 foot nothing female who made her mark in running an ultra-successful auto repair centre in the early 1930’s. Her daughter was one of the first female finance brokers in South Africa in the early 1950’s, and my Mum very fondly refers to herself as working class, she started working at the tender age of 12 at their local corner store during school vacations and really never stopped.
My Mum is an eternal optimist, quite painful at times during my teenage rebellion years. However, she treated everyone with exactly the same deference and respect, whether it was a company CEO or the garbage truck attendant, no differential between race, gender, cultural upbringing or sexual preference. And I admit, growing up in such an environment by its nature fosters the same deep love for humanity in general.
Although I know that wages within sexes may not be consistently identical 100% of the time yet, I believe the delta is diminishing rapidly in this amazing country I can call home – Australia.
On this beautiful International Women’s Day 2017 I want to send out my very personal heartfelt thank you to all the women before me who fought for female rights and have helped create this open-minded and fair nation I have the benefit of existing and thriving in.
I also feel in my heart that there is a calling for us all to embrace women’s rights issues globally today. Where there are still cultures existing that sell their daughters for financial gain, embrace female mutilation, child prostitution and female slavery in this day and age, women like us have to stand united and raise our voices with females across the globe.
I want to trust that the pendulum effect of the feminist movement will now focus more broadly and help drive those changes too. And, one day my daughter can write a blog about how her mother was an influential participant in getting these abominable acts abolished. I know you all feel the same way I do.