What does it take to be labeled as a “woman of substance?”

This year saw the AU (African Union) and UN shift focus and commit to executing the necessary steps toward empowering women. There is still so much that needs to be done to make sure that women own the title of feeling empowered and are uplifted enough to support and impact each others lives through their actions. The month of August in South Africa is dedicated to celebrating women. There is a lot to be said about the role of a women in this fast paced digital world. Her contributions, her rights, her worth. But just so I do not attempt to make this blog a lengthy one, I will keep it fairly short and concentrate on the subject at hand.

The principle according to unwomen.org – “Empowering women to participate fully in economic life across all sectors is essential to build stronger economies, achieve internationally agreed goals for development and sustainability, and improve the quality of life for women, men, families and communities…”

Woman of substance – To explore what this means there is a need to unpack the term. Dictionary.com states a number of definitions. One is: “substantial or solid character or quality.” Other definitions included “consistency, body” and “something that has separate or independent existence.”  Based on these alone, I feel society has set up this term for a certain type of woman only. Fame, fortune and financial status seem to tackle and grapple the subtle definition that MUST  belong to every woman whose life has meaning. Shall we name-drop? Oprah Winfrey, Angelina Jolie, Maya Angelou, Mitchel Obama, the list is endless. And I agree, these women do own the defined title, these and a lot more.

Your mission – If you choose to accept it, it is to rise above obstacles, ALL of them. There is a need for every woman to own this title, regardless of class, race or assets. Use your voice, embrace the ability to break ground in any field and to change the way the world confines you. Arm yourself with knowledge, the greatest weapon that always overshadows ignorance.  Thanks to the digital world, you do not have to write a book to be heard, we have social media for that. The power of a hashtag executed effectively, on the right platform, travels the world and has the power to tear down walls and influence change.

Here’s to all the women reading this blog. You are the definition of ” a woman of substance”.

“There is no greater pillar of stability than a strong, free and educated woman, and there is no more inspiring role model than a man who respects and cherishes women and champions their leadership.” – Angelina Jolie

 

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