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Women's Day — Breaking the Silence

Today, on Women’s Day, my heart goes out to women who still don’t enjoy the freedom and peace that I have today, and I pray too in remembrance and gratitude for the men and women who have suffered and died for our safety and freedom that are both so precious.

Fighting for the rights of women is a challenge even in 2020. Sadly, black lives matter protests are still necessary and gender-based violence is still a shocking reality for many women. In some countries, women still aren’t allowed to drive cars or enjoy economic freedom, file for divorce, and enjoy equal rights.

Over decades, I’ve stood up for my rights as a woman and the rights of others many times. I have spoken out and taken action against sexual harassment and racism, as well as violence and intimidation against women and the vulnerable, including myself. Sometimes for doing so, people, including my own family, have turned against me. For doing what’s right, including saying no to abuse, people have threatened to slander my name, destroy me and even to end my life.

I’ve been shunned many a time for speaking the truth and taking action, but I have made a difference and I have fought for and won my freedom. I thank those special souls who have assisted and supported me along the way. And I’d do it again — 100 times over. I’d cross more borders if I had to, speak out again, and burn some more bridges with tears in my eyes.

And I consider myself one of the lucky ones. I’ve survived to find safety, freedom and peace in this beautiful democratic country where we can enjoy racial equality, democracy, legal rights, religious freedom, freedom of speech, economic freedom, the right to vote, freedom to wear what we want, marry who we please and live where we please.

Many men and women have been persecuted, attacked, imprisoned and killed in the fight for these freedoms and rights here in South Africa and elsewhere. In many countries, people are still dying and fleeing as refugees all in the quest for a piece of freedom that I feel so blessed to now enjoy.

Every voice matters, every protest matters and every action matters. Speak out, reach out and stand together so that everyone can enjoy equal rights, safety, respect and freedom that we all deserve.

Happy Women’s Day and Happy Women's Month.

Love and light xxx

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