9 Aug 2010

54 years ago today over 20 000 women of all ages and races walked together to the Union Buildings in Pretoria. They went to deliver this petition, which has the closing remarks of:

"We shall not rest until we have won for our children their fundamental rights of freedom, justice, and security."
If I had been born then I would have been walking with those 20 000 women. It was a day many brave women risked being arrested in order to show their frustration with not being able to move freely, and how the pass laws affected their lives and those of their families. The belief in freedom, justice and security must have been so prevalent, and the courage would have been heard in the anthem they sang:

wathint' abafazi,
wathint' imbokodo,
uza kufa!

[When] you strike the women,
you strike a rock,
you will be crushed!

When I look around me today I am inspired by many women who also believe in freedom and love, and are singing their songs to the beat of their own drums, and I am able to stand up today and show them my support. The three who are in my life right now are:

Sonja Kruse
Sonja is 9 months into a year long journey that is weaving the stories of over one hundred families from over ninety towns with over thirteen cultures within one country- South Africa. She is telling the story of love in our country, through finding Ubuntu in every step she takes. You cannot help but be touched when you hear the stories she has to tell.

Jolandi Rust
Jolandi is the first woman to circumnavigate South Africa on her own on a bicycle. It took her 100 days and she finished in January this year. Her next plan is to be the first woman to circumnavigate Africa on a bicycle. She wasn’t to share that big dreams are possible and that we shouldn’t wait to start living them.

Leila Chirayath Janah
I'm going to get to meet one of the Most Innovative Women in Technology who's also an adventurette at the very exciting Tech4Africa conference this week. She is Leila, and is the CEO of Samasource, a social business that connects over 800 women, youth, and refugees living in poverty to digital work. Her application "Give Work" is all about innovative crowdsourcing technology that has been downloaded by over 20 000 volunteers in 75 countries. She believes that the future is about humans and computers working together to get stuff done, and that farmers in Africa could earn more tending virtual farms on a social network. I am looking forward to hearing her story and getting to know her at Tech4Africa.

Happy Women's Day!

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