Remarks by the Convenor of the PBF – Sasha Muller
Looking back and ahead.
August 2020 has had particular relevance for us all. It marked the reduction to level 2 of the lockdown measures so essential to save lives and which were implemented at level 5 in March this year. That period from level 5 to level 2 in 2020, is likely to be recalled for decades to come.
August was also Women’s Month – a time to reflect and take stock of the vital role women play in our lives, our families, our economy and our very future. While giant steps have been taken in South Africa already to address the recognition of women beyond traditional roles, even greater strides are needed.
I am reminded of the words of the American writer, poet and civil rights activist Audre Lorde, who in the 1980’s said - “I write for those women who do not speak, for those who do not have a voice because they were so terrified, because we are taught to respect fear more than ourselves. We've been taught that silence would save us, but it won't."
In the same vein, perhaps one of the most recent female activist writers, the Australian born Geena Dunne, put it so well in an essay in 2013 in which she writes : “Feminism isn’t about making women stronger, women are already strong, it’s about changing the way the world perceives that strength”.
So where do those words of inspiration leave us, as 2020 begins to wind down after about 5 months of lockdown? They talk of the mettle of a society so badly needed to emerge from a period of virtually unprecedented challenge and they speak powerfully of harnessing strengths to move on and up.
This newsletter contains a range of topics and subjects all of which seem to point to the imperative of the next step of the journey.
In August, the PBF for its part, held the first in a series of webinars to promote and encourage inclusive discussion, input and conversation around the document prepared by the ANC’s Sub-committee on Economic Transformation, entitled - Reconstruction, Growth and Transformation: Building a New, Inclusive Economy.
The month of September will see an all women panel of discussants on the role of women in the new economy.
The PBF has a full programme in store for the coming months. These activities bear witness to the power of joined actions on the economic road ahead and make it all the more important that unified efforts are imperative, assured that confidence will point the way .
Steps of action are undoubtedly building blocks for tomorrow. The PBF is honored to make them with you.