Strong women take note:

 women

 

 “You strike a woman, you strike a rock!”

 

– Women’s March (9 August 1956) resistance song. The march was in protest of the pass laws restricting black men from entering the cities. Women from all races joined forces and marched to the Pretoria Union Building to hand over a petition. 

 

Sixty years later there remains an uncomfortable amount of reasons for us to join forces and march once more.

 

Every six hours a woman gets killed by her intimate partner. Women are raped, abused and humiliated on a daily basis. Many households are headed by a woman – who continue to earn significantly less than their male counterparts. So yes, the struggle to emancipate is real and far from over.

 

It is true that we have come a long way. In ancient times a woman was regarded as the property of her father or husband and was unable to enter into a contract without a man’s consent. Isn’t it heartbreaking to note that in some households, not much has changed? More than 50% of women surveyed by the World Health Organization in 2013 have been abused verbally or emotionally. Most unfortunately suffer in silence, fearing retaliation or self-blame.

 

If you or someone you know is a victim of stalking, physical, economical, verbal and/ or emotional abuse, we urge you to please follow or pass on these simple steps to obtain a protection order: click here. 

 

The government is trying to relieve woman and child abuse by implementing Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offenses units countrywide. On the 22nd of July 2015 the Minister of Justice and Correctional Services also officially opened the Schweizer Reneke Sexual Offences Court in the North West Province– a court with specially trained officials and equipment that will assist to reduce any chance of secondary trauma for victims of sexual violence. These are all strides in the right direction, however, there is a potential force much stronger than Parliament: all women joining forces.

 

It is easy to sit back and blame decades of gender discrimination, especially as the damage caused is unacceptable and has bred mindsets that are not compatible with equal opportunities and respect. As a woman I believe it is time for us all to take a hard look in the mirror. Are you living a fulfilled life? Is this who you dreamed of becoming as a little girl? Are you spending more time belittling women than actively building each other up? Is that petty fight with that other struggling woman really worth it?

 

Women form more than half of this beautiful country’s population. Imagine what we can accomplish together.

 

In celebration of Women’s Day, Legal Hero will upload a few Woman Law 101 notes to try ensure that no legal obstacle is stopping you from reaching your full potential. Please mail social@legalhero.co.za should you have any specific topics or questions you would like one of our legal wonder women to address.

 

Please furthermore take note that Debt Hero will be providing free advice to over-indebted consumers at the Artscape Women Humanity Arts Festival tomorrow.

Join Debt Hero in the Planning Boardroom on Tuesday 9 August (Women’s Day) from 10:00 to 13:00. Other experts include representatives from the Southern Suburbs Legal Advice Centre (SSLAC), ENSAfrica and TNK Attorneys.

Date: Tuesday 9 August 2016
Time: 10:00 to 13:00
Venue: Planning boardroom
D F Malan Street, Foreshore, Cape Town, 8001
Theme: “60 years – Where are we now?”

“Here’s to strong women. May we know them, may we be them, may we raise them.” – Unknown.