A simple question, ‘how are you doing? Really, how are you?’ turned out not to have such a simple answer. But, it certainly had a hopeful one that all women in South Africa need to hear, especially ahead of the 16 Days of Activism:
South Africa (14 November 2023) — Every year, at the end of November, an international campaign dubbed ’16 Days of Activism against Gender-Based Violence’ reminds people around the world that the fight for women’s respect, safety, and rights is far from over.
This rings ever louder in countries like ours, where gender-based violence is not a thing of history books but exists as the pandemic that ensued.
The 16 Days of Activism campaign extends a bigger message of no violence against women and children. From 25 November, loud calls for change, stories that break hearts and anger communities and statistics that send chills down our spines with the intention to mobilise against these, generally take centre stage.
For women in South Africa for whom these realities are very close to home, it is a time that’s ever-necessary while being emotionally strenuous, infuriating and even demotivating in the same breath.
But, there is another side to this coin, and it is the bloom of hope.
Taking to social media, Dr Ntombifikile Mtshali, the CEO of NPC Shout-It-Now who is a doctor and social justice activist, shared an important open letter.
The question that inspired it was simple, though the answer was not: “How are you doing? Really, how are you?”.
Taking the path of hope, Dr Mtshali shared an embrace of a message for women that’ll remind you that the fight is not fruitless, your dreams are still yours and although the road is winding, it is not one you need to walk alone.
“The change may be difficult to see, but it exists. Because the work of the women, their impact, our impact, reverberates across time and generations.”—Dr Ntombifikile Mtshali.