Women’s Day message from Soul City Institute CEO Phinah Kodisang

I reflect on today with mixed emotions because as a womxn I am not happy with the position of womxn in this country. I live in a country that is said to have the highest statistics of gender-based violence in the world, including rape and domestic violence.

I live in fear because each time I hear of yet another womxn who has been raped or killed I wonder about my safety, the safety of my female loved ones. I wonder what we have done to deserve this hate. I move from being fearful to being angry all at the same time.

I am angry at the failure of the system to ensure I am protected. I am angry that to date there is a lack of equitable solutions to womxn's issues, my issues. Our cities are not womxn friendly; we are blamed as womxn for the wrongs done to us.

I am frustrated by the lack of respect I receive from male counterparts who believe they can make whatever comments about my body and when I respond I am body shamed and called names. I know I deserve more than what I am being afforded right now. I deserve better.

I want to enjoy my freedom on my own terms. So today I am confused and frustrated, but I am also proud of what we have achieved collectively as womxn. We are not just beautiful faces. We are leaders.

We are here to stay, and patriarchy must bow because guess what... Your time to abuse and exploit womxn is up. This womxn's day I challenge the status quo. I want change and I want it now.

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