Thursday, March 08, 2007

World marks International Women's Day

By Nadia Samie
8 March 2007

Women across the globe are commemorating International Women’s Day today, March 8. The day has been celebrated around the world since the early 1900's. A quick poll done around the Bush Radio studio today revealed that women have very different opinions about this important day.

"Women's Day means a lot because it shows how women fought hard in the struggle. Without women, there would be nothing on earth," says 20-year-old Simaza Rilityana, a public management and law student and trainee receptionist at the station (pictured on the right). She is from Samora Machel, and who feels very passionate about the plight of women.

Mother of two Brenda Leonard (pictured on the left) is the Bush Radio administrator, she resides in Strandfontein. Leonard says that, while this day is a celebration of how far women have come, we must not become complacent.

"On International Women's Day, women around the world are still suffering, in different ways... violence, poverty, malnutrition, HIV/Aids, rape and landmines. So International Women's Day is a day to show solidarity with women worldwide. We unite around issues affecting women," she says.

"It (International Women's Day) means being proud to be a woman, but there's no real celebration," says 22-year-old Rahima Omar (pictured on the right), a trainee producer who is always on the look-out for a party. Her statement mirror's many other young women's opinion about the day, that while it is important, nothing is really done to mark the day in a special way.

Not everyone has latched onto the importance of the day, however. Twenty-five-year-old journalism student Busisiwe Mtabane (pictured on the left), who is the trainee presenter of Sakisizwe (12pm-2pm) says that International Women's Day means, "nothing much," to her, shaking her head in a bewildered way.

Sharing the young woman's sentiment is the receptionist Belinda Sepkit (pictured below). "For me it's just another day," says the busy mother to six children. She expressed suprise that today is International Women's Day.

The United Nations says on its website that, “International Women's Day is an occasion marked by women's groups around the world. When women on all continents, often divided by national boundaries and by ethnic, linguistic, cultural, economic and political differences, come together to celebrate their Day, they can look back to a tradition that represents at least nine decades of struggle for equality, justice, peace and development.”

Women’s Day was established in Copenhagen in 1910, to honour the movement for women's rights and to assist in achieving universal suffrage for women.

Cosatu spokesperson Patrick Craven says that, “In particular we dedicate this day to strengthening the ties of solidarity with working women in the worldwide struggle against their double exploitation as both workers and women.”

Pictures: Adrian Louw


At Thursday, 08 March, 2007, Anonymous Juanita said...

I enjoyed reading this report. It's not surprising that some women don't know it's Int Women's Day, particularly since SA has its own day to celebrate.
One issue: do you have point out how many children the women you work with have? It's not like it's Mother's Day ;)

At Thursday, 08 March, 2007, Blogger Bush Radio 89.5fm Newsroom said...

Hi Juanita
Thanks for your comment. I agree it's not Mother's Day... but I think that being a mother is an incredibly momentous job all on it's own... and it attests to the strength of a woman when she works a full day at the office, and then goes home to tend to 6 children. That said, all women are amazing creations, mothers or not!
I think it also serves to draw contrast between the different lifestyles the women in the article have... and how, if at all, it colours their view of International Women's Day.
Happy Women's Day to you!

At Thursday, 08 March, 2007, Anonymous Juanita said...

Hi there,
I think it may just be the fact that Brenda is described as "Mother of two Brenda Leonard" in the article that rubbed me the wrong way. To me, it sounded like you were using it as a finite definition of Brenda. No offence intended! Happy Mother's... oops... Women's Day day ;) to you too.

At Friday, 09 March, 2007, Blogger Bush Radio 89.5fm Newsroom said...

Hahaha! Admittedly, she is a lot more than a mother.


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