Keri-Leigh Paschal is the Executive Trustee and Co-Founder of the Nation Builder Trust
This month, we pause, celebrate, and pay tribute to the pioneering women before us. Women who sought to tackle injustices and to cast a vision for a nation in which everyone would be given the opportunity to flourish and participate fully in society.
Injustices will always be with us, since we live in a world that falls prey to greed, pride and a multitude of other temptations. This doesn’t mean that we should just sit on the sidelines and watch things play out, but rather that we need to call out the injustices we see and find ways to address them within our context.
I have seen many courageous women who are valiantly fighting against the clutches of poverty. They ensure that the children in their care receive an education, have food to eat and a roof over their heads. Resilience doesn’t quite describe the kind of grit that these ladies manage to mine from deep within themselves – they keep going, keep loving, and keep giving. Entrepreneurship and ingenuity are the name of the game, as these women find different ways to earn additional incomes.
It is this fighting spirit and entrepreneurial nature of the women in our nation that we should harness. We need to empower women through greater work flexibility, micro-financing, bursary programmes, access to markets, business mentorship networks, and many other simple mechanisms that will foster the right environment so that women will flourish.
Perhaps it is this generation that can get it right – in a post-Covid-19 world where we can more easily gain access to markets, ensure greater work flexibility, connect with people across geographies and access education at low or no cost – to unlock the full potential of the women of South Africa.
We thank the women who went before us, for fighting the injustices they fought, and are reminded that we too have the responsibility to call out the injustices that plague our society – for all the people in our nation.