Celebrate Women’s Day 2020: Love Yourself & Each Other
August is the month we honor women in South Africa and of course the 9th is Women’s Day. Not only is it a public holiday, it marks a significant day in our National History.
On 9 August 1956, more than 20,000 South African women of all races staged a march on the Union Buildings in protest against the proposed amendments to the Urban Areas Act of 1950, commonly referred to as the “pass laws”. According to these laws black citizens had to carry pass books and it was an effort by the government to restrict their movements.
The 1956 protest was made up of mothers, daughters, sisters and friends who decided enough was enough and did something to initiate change. Not only did they march, they stood outside the Union Buildings in silence for 30 minutes, in a powerful non-violent display.
These women were strong and courageous. They stood together and brought about change in a country and a nation. We remember them with love and respect. And what a great example to learn from.
We’ve come a long way, ladies! There certainly are locations and situations where women still need a lot of support and traction to bring about positive change in terms of equality and human rights. With this thought in mind, I realised that empowering women is a great first step in the right direction. Teaching or simply talking about self-empowerment, self worth and self love is a way for me to help empower women.
Women should build each other up. We should take care of ourselves, our friendships and the relationships with all the women in our lives.
It all starts with self love. Realising your self worth and taking care of yourself first is always the foundation on which we build external relationships. It is vitally important for women to stop listening to the media about what kind of people we should be, how we should look or what we should wear. We should be kind to ourselves, and love ourselves so that we can care for and love others.
If there is one thing that we remember this Women’s Day, it should be the example of the women who marched in 1956. Together we will be heard and together we can bring about change. And in order to stand together we need to support each other. Let’s start by realising our own self worth, supporting and loving each other.
Here are two sure-fire ways you can empower the women in your life right now.
Be a Cheerleader
It’s a powerful thing to celebrate the successes of other women. We shouldn’t allow ourselves to be threatened by other women’s achievements – our successes are not diminished or shadowed by the successes of others. Being a cheerleader for someone casts a wide net: when young girls see us applaud another woman’s accomplishments, it helps them step out of their comfort zone and envision ways towards their own success.
Tell Your Story
It doesn’t matter where we are in life, we have all hit roadblocks along the way. Other women can learn from our mistakes, our failures and from our successes. But only if we share those stories. Our stories can help others find strength to overcome whatever they are facing. It also helps others relate to us — to see themselves in our shoes. Telling the stories of our journeys bring about a feeling of camaraderie.
If you would like to learn more about self care and what you can do to develop good self care practices, you can read my article about it here.