It’s 20 years into democracy and we celebrate today’s women’s role in society. There is the current “born free” generation who cause us to question if indeed women are free in terms of dealing with day-to-day issues.
Laws have been passed to protect the rights of women and children, to ensure gender equality in the work place, the right to vote, amendments to the Act against Violence and Abuse, but I wonder if all women are benefitting from such laws. If not, why?
For a law to be enforced and executed, someone needs to claim his/her rights guaranteed under that law. However if a person does not believe he/she has the right to do so, they will not bother.
Thinking along the lines that so many women are not benefitting from the system or democracy, achieved at a very high cost by our heroes and heroines, I came to realise that any freedom has to start in one’s mind.
For example, we read in history of Tata Mandela and his 27 years of incarceration, but we also learn that he was a man with a free mind. He was free in his spirit and physical incarceration could not enslave his mind. He lived for each one of those days, over a period of 27 years, thinking about freedom.
We are free physically but if we don’t free our mind in terms of how we look at ourselves, if we do not believe in our rights or fight for them, laws lose their merit and purpose.
Celebrating 58 years since those brave women marched to Pretoria, we should reflect how free each one of us is inside our minds.
What has been enslaving your mind? Is it your background, lack of education, your looks, past experiences, bitter words that were thrown at you, bad feelings about yourself and others, a disability, the ghost of depression, complexes – identify yours.
Let us work to free ourselves from whatever is keeping us in bondage. God says, in Jeremiah 9, that we should glory in one thing – to have known Him. For God exercises loving kindness, judgement and righteousness on earth.
If you experience God’s mercy by looking at yourself through His eyes, you will see that He does not judge you, so why have you been judging yourself? You will see that His law for you is precious and His plan is to help you to flourish and to become the person you would like to be.
Women, do not allow this past month of August merely to have been a celebration. Claim it. Own it. Once you free your mind, you start making a difference that will be your heritage to the generations to come.
Be a happy woman, everyday, bomme!