They are the pillars of society and deserve to be celebrated.
As we commemorate Women’s Month, City Times spoke to Lillian Sibeko who shared how women were perceived in the olden days compared to modern women.
The 73-year-old mother and grandmother said women of today must draw strength and courage from the older women in their community.
“When we’re growing up in the 1940s women were expected to stay at home, look after the children and their husband,” said Sibeko.
“However, the women of today have the opportunity to become anything their hearts desire.”
The Daveyton resident dropped out of school at the age of 13 to look after her sick mother and siblings.
“I had to take the role of being a mother. I was expected to make sure that my father had food to eat and siblings go to school,” she said.
“It was painful to see my mother so sick. I had to lend a hand even though I wished I could’ve gone to school.”
In the early 70s, Sibeko got married to her late husband who also didn’t want her work.
When he died in the 70s she had to take on the role of being a mother and father to her two daughters, Nomsa and Khosi.
She then worked as a domestic worker to provide for her children and took them to school.
“I made sure that my children went to school so they didn’t have to depend on a man to provide for them.”
One of the qualities she instilled in her daughters was to learn to put God first in everything they did and to study further to better themselves.
Sibeko said young women need to celebrate the brave women who fought for freedom, dignity, and honour that they now enjoy today.
“If it wasn’t for them, women would still be treated unfairly,” she said.
“We salute those women because now our daughters get the same opportunities as men,” she said.
“Young women should take advantage of these opportunities and empower other women as well.”
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