In the last week of Women’s Month, make your own collage and share on your social media platforms. Scroll down to the end of this blog for our Women’s Month collage. We challenge you to make your own collage and share it on social media platforms.
In honour of women
This month we would like to honour women for who they are. Just as they are. Women should be able to be themselves, whoever they are, where they are. Women are not a homogeneous group, and we should celebrate women and the diversity of women across society, irrespective of class, age, race, sexual orientation, religious affiliation, career choice, personality type, body shape, and whatever aspect of their lives you can think of.
There is a huge misconception that because women’s rights are entrenched in our Constitution, women are equal now. Women are far from equal in our society, and the vulnerability of women has been under the spotlight in recent years and more so recent months given the ongoing issues of vulnerability. Various surveys and reports have highlighted women’s vulnerability in terms of employment and income, physical safety and emotional wellbeing. It is clear that while there is equality between the sexes on paper, real-life experiences of women prove to be less rosy.
The reality of being a woman
The reality is that women’s unequal status in society goes much deeper than constitutional rights. Inequality is systemically entrenched in culture, societal norms and religion. We still live in a society where a significant portion of society has very fixed ideas of what women should think, do and how they should behave. Many still raise their children with gender-stereotypical expectations. In some cultures, women are valued less than men, and often discussions on gender equality and women’s rights are dismissed or regarded as unnecessary. The term “feminism” continues to make people uneasy and is widely misunderstood. (feminist evaluation Archives)
Some still confuse Womens’ Day with Mothers’ Day. In some countries the tradition is to give women flowers – a nice but misplaced gesture. Women’s Day and Women’s Month is not about being pink, cuddly and motherly. It is about women’s rights and the opportunity to fully exercise those rights. When gender equality eludes us, families are weakened, societies are fragmented, and the world as a whole loses out on the full potential of all human beings.
Our Women’s’ Month Collage Challenge
This is our Women’s Month collage. In the last week of Women’s Month, make your own collage and share on your social media platforms.
5 Reasons why women’s equality is good for all
Knowledge is power.
In developed countries, women receive more college degrees. This helps to bridge the gap between male and female CEOs and political leaders. This may mean having more educated people in power. Although there are still vast gaps between the number of men and women in top business positions, women in business have demonstrated that they are an asset as managers, investors, and leaders.
Countries that actively include women in the workforce have more economic growth than countries that don’t. The World Bank found that for every 1% increase in the population of girls educated, a country’s GDP increases by 3%. When economies grow, there are more employment opportunities, social services, and development for everyone to enjoy.
Companies managed by women report more motivated workers and higher productivity than those managed by men. Though the reasons why are still contested, a Gallup poll found that individuals with female managers were 6% more engaged than those with male leaders. Similar studies have found that women may be more affirming. And check-in with their employees more often than male managers do, which results in motivation, interest, and higher productivity.
Women are smart investors, and studies show that they make better financial decisions than men. A seven-year study found that single female investors and female-led investment groups outperformed their male counterparts when it came to stock picking.
Countries that educate women have better economies, healthier citizens, and less violence than those that don’t. Evidence shows that when girls are educated, economies improve, both because of their new ability to enter the skilled workforce and because educated women raise educated children. Investing in women is investing in the future economy and workforce. Beyond the financial motivations, each additional year of girls’ education lowers infant mortality by 5-10%. The amount of families in poverty also decreases, as educated women wait longer to get married and have fewer children.
By Fia van Rensburg