What is in a woman?

Ephy Mathebula, Acting Financial Manager and one of the 25 finalists for Schwarzkopf Mrs South Africa 2016
Ephy Mathebula, Acting Financial Manager and one of the 25 finalists for Schwarzkopf Mrs South Africa 2016

LEPHALALE — Mogol Post interviewed Ephy Mathebula, Acting Financial Manager and one of the 25 finalists for Schwarzkopf Mrs South Africa 2016, to hear her opinion on Women’s Day and what her view of a real woman is.
She said that she is a woman who sees herself as strong and courageous.
She had the following to say on being a woman:
“Yes, I am a woman, strong and courageous. On 9 August 1956 more than 20 000 women of South Africa of all races marched to the Union Buildings, protesting against the proposed amendments to the Urban Areas Act of 1950, commonly known as “Pass Law”. The March was led by the great Lilian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Rahima Moosa and Sophia Williams.
2016 marks 60 years since these powerful women, that I respect so much, protested against the pass law but their strength, courage and persistence will never be forgotten. They left a mark in the history of South Africa. As I look back, it is evident that women have always been emotionally strong. They stood up and acted for the change they wanted to see in their families, communities and their country at large, they never depended on anyone to effect the change they wanted to see. It takes a strong and courageous woman to do what they did.
Things have changed drastically over the years and I must say that things we have in common with those women is courage and inner strength. The time to fight for the pass laws has passed, we now need to start fighting the battle of overcoming the view of societies about us women and I believe that we are equal to the tasks and challenges at hand. We need to do away with the mentality of being seen as people who must get married, give birth to children, take care of them and stay at home and depend on our husbands to provide for us. Not anymore. I was puzzled the other day as I was sitting next to this old man and a certain young man and they had a conversation about women and they implied that women are meant to stay and home and do all these things that I just mentioned, and I realized that we still have a lot of work as women to change this perception.
The message that we must portray is that the women of today are strong enough to manage their families, marriages, work, studies, and their own multibillion businesses without any struggle. I am talking about that woman who does not let anyone or anything stand in her way of success. Courageous enough to pave her own way where nobody thought there could be a way. She sets her own standards and challenges herself to achieve more. She is not in competition with anyone else but herself. She will go out of her way to empower and uplift other women around her.
I will be making a very big mistake if I cannot acknowledge all the women who have already started moving into the male dominated environments such as construction and the IT environment. We now see women driving buses and also in high political ranks. This is also seen in churches, we now have women pastors, but I must say that we need to see more of this.
My message is that the 1956 women have run their race and they have handed their batten to us. It is now up to us to run a noble race and inspire change, touch lives, create our own legacy and influence the lives of our sons and daughters in a positive way to become the responsible men and women of tomorrow. Happy women’s Month”
Ephy Mathebula

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