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Women unite in spite of their differences: In front are Thuso Mohlake and Marné Willemse and at the back Jeanette Maupye, Confidence Lubisi and Aziza Anver Kalla.

Women stand proud for Women’s Month

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Women normally separated by chasms created by differences in race, culture, religion, and economic and social circumstances are unanimous when it comes to the goal of making their communities a better, safer place for all women.
This was revealed when Polokwane Observer interviewed several Polokwane women about their challenges, fears and hopes for themselves and other women in light of August being Women’s Month.
Nadia Dawood Jamal (30) has it all – she is a wife, mother of three children, sports scientist, make-up artist and entrepreneur. She says being a woman in today’s world means so many things to her and she admits to being somewhat of a feminist in that she believes women should be granted equal rights and access to opportunities. “However, to me, the term gender equality has a deeper meaning. We are different to men. We should be able to embrace our strengths. We should stand proud of our fierceness whilst not being ashamed of our femininity and our womanly nature. In short, we should be whatever we want to be,” she says.
Thuso Mohlake (23) agrees with her. “To stand on my own without being intimidated, that is what is important to me as a woman,” she adds.
Marné Willemse (19) says she firmly believes that even in this day and age, women are not afforded equality. “Women should stand together and speak out against being treated as second-class citizens,” she says.
Touching on another thorny issue among women, Aziza Anver Kalla (39) says when it comes to rape and violence against women, the only solution is to ensure that the chain is broken. “And as the mothers of our future generation, that duty lies primarily with women.”
To Jeanette Maupye (25) it is a major concern that so many women are physically abused and even murdered by the men in their lives. “What is missing is respect,” she states.
Confidence Lubisi (21) says inequality still plays a part when it comes to the workplace. “Women have to work harder than their male counterparts just to get a promotion or increase, which is not fair and a situation that needs to be addressed,” she opines.
Dawood Jamal has the final word. What the world needs is more women who are comfortable and content in their skin, who are not pressured into conforming to what society dictates they should be, she says. “If each one of us embraces our nature, whatever that nature may be, the end result would be a womanhood of passionate and powerful beings.”

Story and photos: KAREN VENTER
>>karen@observer.co.za

Nadia Dawood Jamal believes that the world needs more women who are comfortable and content in their skin.