So, yesterday I attended a convention for women that celebrated women leaders and is also used to inspire other women. Sounds good, does't it? I am sure that most of the ladies who attended it, did enjoy it, but the only thing that I enjoyed was the food - the whole thing felt like I was back in church. Women declaring their faith in god and how good he was to them - and the whole time I wanted to say to them: it was YOU! You did what was achieved. The 'glory' is yours, because you worked hard for the community project to be a success. The cherry on the cake was when the program manager wanted to empower/inspire the crowd of ladies further by telling them to have blind faith. To me that was just enough and that is when I told my colleagues at the table with me, that you cannot empower people by telling them that they are not in control of their own lives. That's just stupid. My boss politely asked me if that is why I have a problem with religion and I responded that this is just one of the issues.

 

The thing is, that people often do not know or realize that they are the masters of their own destiny. I think especially in a country like South Africa where the current government is telling people that they will provide....jobs, etc. Then you top this up by preaching to them, not to worry, god will provide. So if the government will provide on the one side and god on the other side, why the hell would I have to lift a finger to create a better life for me and my family? So this is exactly what happens: nothing. Because people are being brain-washed that they must just have blind faith. And the outcome is, is that the largest part of african women still live in poverty.

 

Imagine what the difference could have been if both the government and 'religious leaders' start telling people to take control of their own lives. When people start realizing that praying for something will not make it happen - YOU must make it happen. Waiting for the government to give you a job is not going to happen - You must find a job or create your own. I am convinced that it would make for a better society.

 

 

 

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Comment by Riaan du Toit on August 31, 2011 at 4:03pm
We sometimes get the impression that South Africa is more secular than USA for instance when we look at our constitution, but when you hear things like this then you do wonder.  Nice.
Comment by Steph S. on August 31, 2011 at 10:23am
Janina, thanks so much for this post.  I am interested in women's issues myself.  I agree that you cannot be empowered if you think someone else is doing everything for you.  We are masters of our own destiny.  You are so right -- it is "YOU must make it happen."
Comment by Rob van Senten on August 31, 2011 at 4:07am

"Imagine..."

 

I do imagine such things and I oft come to the same conclusions... if only it were to become a reality

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