Editor's note: Laura Slyer is an editor for Briefly.co.za. In this article, she takes a look at the Google doodles for International Women's Day, and what it means to be a woman in South Africa in 2018.
When I saw Google's Doodle for International Women's Day 2018, I was awed, inspired and thrilled by the recognition of female artists and story-tellers from all around the world.
As a South African woman, a writer and an artist, this particular set of doodles spoke to my heart and soul.
They are stories of overcoming fear, of learning to value yourself, and of reaching for your dreams no matter how absurd they may seem to others.
Their art and stories are a reminder that no matter where we are in the world, we often face the same struggles of persecution, suppression and the battle for recognition in the face of a world dominated by people who prescribe to the notion that to be worthy, you need to fit in.
As women particularly, we are expected to conform to a society where perceptions are dictated by a patriarchal system. If you don't conform, you're made to feel like less of a woman, as if your femininity is dictated by what you wear, how you eat, and what you choose to drink.
I'm particularly reminded of South African socialite, Zodwa Wabantu, who is a firebrand of note. She's brash, outspoken, unashamed of who she is, and she's raising a son who will have to listen to society bashing her, not only for her behaviour (which they simultaneously encourage), but for her appearance.
But International Women's Day is not only about expecting men to acknowledge our power and rights. It's about reminding other women that we are not in competition with one another. Or at least, we don't have to be.
More importantly, it's about recognising that no matter who we are, we have the power to choose who we want to be, and to change the world for the better. And that's a power worth celebrating.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not reflect the beliefs or position of Briefly.co.za.
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