Generation Equality: Realizing Women’s Rights for an Equal Future

By Salome Mabuse CA(SA)


Every year, in August, our country marks Women’s Month. We also pay homage to the more than 20 000 women who marched to the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956. This month should be used as a moment to reflect on the lessons from the past and how these can be a tool for meaningful change.


I get to experience the impact of their influence daily, from seeing women thrive in traditionally male-dominated spaces to working under the phenomenal leadership of Meta Mhlarhi and Makole Mupita on landmark deals in the renewable energy sector.


These women and countless others have paved the way for generations that followed. They have provided the foundations for us to have conversations around inclusivity, identity, and gender power dynamics. These conversations have taught me that people are not a monolith.


While I am privileged to have great examples of women who have been given the proverbial seat at the table, I am also cognizant of the economic and social hardships that are faced by women. As it stands, the country has a stagnant median gender pay gap of between 23% and 35% and has considerable high GBV rates, which is appalling.


To this end, I have thought about equality and what that means for me. Equity I believe, provides a great foundation for equality through intentional equitable action that pushes boundaries, through this we can achieve equality. An equal future is one and other women can be given the same resources and opportunities as men.


While the recent announcement by President Cyril Ramaphosa on the Energy Plan will provide much-needed relief to South Africa’s energy crisis and bring about economic growth, I am curious to know how women will be included meaningfully as decisions in the renewable energy sector like many others in the world are predominantly made by males.


My hope is that the private and public sectors will be intentional about the meaningful participation of women in the entire full chain.