Qrate brings Eduliftment to Tswelopele Secondary School!

Qrate brings Eduliftment to Tswelopele Secondary School!

Hello Qraters!

On the 29th of July in support of Discovery, Qrate was tasked with providing another Menstruation workshop to the girls of Tswelopele Secondary School. With the aim of ending period poverty the Discovery Health Period Positivity initiative headed up by the Functional Enablement & Central Services Team, Discovery donated period products to Tswelopele Secondary School. This donation will ensure that periods will not be an obstacle to school girls’ life.

The Senior Girls after the Qrate Menstruation Workshop

Our facilitators (Candice, Felicia, and Slu) had two sessions on the day. The first session occurred in the morning with 360 girls from Grade 8s and Grade 9s. The juniors engaged really well with the content and asked a lot of questions about different period products. The facilitators were amazed to learn just how excited and confident the juniors were about periods.

Morning Session with the Junior Girls

In the second afternoon session, which had 500 learners, the facilitators taught the girls about various period products and most importantly made the seniors take a period pledge. This session contained a LARGE group of girls who were excited to learn more about periods and the various period products that existed.

Facilitator Felicia explained the reproductive system to the girls

Out of the tasks, we asked five girls from both sessions to present period products, and the top presenter received a copy of Flow: The Book About Menstruation co-written by our Founder and Director, Candice Chirwa. The other girls received a menstrual cup from Mina Cups!

Qrate and Discovery Team

We are happy to have worked with Discovery and Mina Cups. Collaboration is key in providing a holistic solution to ending period poverty. If your corporate would like to host a CSI initiative focused on period education, please send an email to info@qrate.org.za!

The Beginners Guide to Gender Equality

The Beginners Guide to Gender Equality

By Mangaliso Ngomane

When this all blows over you will have picked up a host of new habits if you have been following QRATE on Social Media and the recent #TogetherAtHome campaign, you’ll definitely gain some new skills. 

Today let’s talk a bit about equality. What is equality? Equality is the state of being equal, especially in status, rights or opportunities. Qrate, for example, aims to promote equality through various programmes with a focus, particularly on gender.

If you believe in gender equality then believe it or not: YOU are a feminist.

Photo by Jen Theodore on Unsplash - equality
Photo by Jen Theodore on Unsplash

I am Mangaliso Ngomane. And I am a Feminist. Forget what you’ve heard, men can also be feminists because all that Feminism is simply is a belief that men and women should have equal rights and opportunities. This theory extends to the political, economic and social equality of the sexes.

Gender equality means that the different behaviours, aspirations, and needs of women and men are considered, valued and favoured equally. It respects the differences of the two and does not mean that women and men have to become the same, but that their rights, responsibilities, and opportunities will not depend on whether they are born male or female.

Gender equality is the concept that all human beings are free to develop their personal abilities and make choices without the limitations set by stereotypes, rigid gender roles and prejudices. That’s my favorite definition of it. Gender equality is freedom and freedom that is only for some is not freedom at all.

 “Gender equality is not just about equal opportunity but it is also about shedding some light on discrimination.

For example, a boy is not entitled to a better education than a girl, but all children have the right to quality education. A woman will become pregnant and a man will not, this is not grounds for unfair advantage with regards to payment and promotion in the workplace.

So serious is the issue of gender equality that it is number three on the list of Millenium Development Goals (MDGs). This is the world’s big to-do list of urgent issues to attend to by the year 2015. The world has met considerable progress with regard to meeting that goal.

My First Book of Feminism (for boys) - equality
Suggested Reading: My First Book of Feminism (for boys) by Julie Merberg

However even though society has made great strides from where we were only 100 years ago, there is still so much to be done. Even in 2020, women around the world still have to fight daily, at home and at work, to overcome gender inequality.

“Men are an important voice because these women do not live alone and discriminate against each other in isolation. Often it is men reinforcing these stereotypes and discriminatory behaviors by choosing to look away or not say anything.”

In her article, This is What a (Male) Feminist Looks Like, Heather K Adams rounded up five traits of a man who does not just use the feminist tag as a shield. Remember we’re all in this together and neither gender is “better” than the other. 

So gentlemen, here is the list: 

1. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
A man that is truly interested in being informed about an issue will show it by asking questions, don’t assume you already have the answers.

2. Listen closely.
Do not roll your eyes when you get an explanation of why something is important.

3. Learn. 
Show your commitment by paying attention.

4. Change. 
Being a Feminist is a process that involves learning and growth.

5. Try.
The Feminist man isn’t perfect, no one is, but he does all of the above all the time because the work of a Feminist is never over. Never stop trying.

You don’t have to start out by saying how much of a man you are or by asserting your masculinity before announcing your alliance with femininity. The idea isn’t about your gender at all. But your genuine belief in social justice and equality.

Gentlemen, if you run a race and win do you still feel like a real winner if your opponent ran and lost with an injury?

We’ll talk again about this very broad topic but until then check your privilege Qraters! And Stay Home. Stay Safe. 

Mangaliso Ngomane is Qrates Public Relations Intern. Mangaliso is a 27-year-old traditional man with a modern mindset. He is creative, but in today’s world who isn’t? His quest to make a change has to lead him here.

Mangaliso Ngomane - equality
Mangaliso Ngomane
Youth Power

Youth Power

By Raeesah Noor-Mahomed

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There is no experience that can be equated to standing in a crowd, screaming at the top of your lungs and collectively marching for a cause. United in anger at the injustice you are facing. Calling for a change.

Womxn have faced oppression from men for hundreds of years. We have been shut down and silenced for so long. But we have had enough. Womxn all over South Africa have taken a stand against Gender-Based Violence (GBV). Womxn have organized protests and shutdowns. Womxn are fighting against the system of oppression. Womxn are revolutionary.

We have a voice. And we are going to use it.

I am a 17-year-old female. The world is a scary place for women and marginalized groups and South Africa’s GBV rate is four times more than the global rate. We, as the youth of South Africa, have decided that we are not going to sit down and watch our sisters get killed. We decided to take a stand.

The morning after Uyinene’s body was discovered my history class had a discussion. We all voiced our anger at the way womxn have been treated and the extreme sorrow we felt over the loss of life. We could all feel the much heavier weight behind this case. Because we have lost so many womxn because of men. And we are tired.

“So, girls, we know this has been happening for too long,” my history teacher said, “but the question is: are we going to sit back and watch this happen? Or are we going to protest?”

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Word of the protest got around fast. The next day almost the whole school was on our school’s entrance at break for the protest. We sat with tape over our mouths and listened to girls poetry and speeches and heard their heartbreak. The choir sang. And we all sang along.

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GBV School Protest

“The tears wouldn’t stop flowing.”

The protest lasted for three days. For three days girls held each other and cried. Strangers held strangers. Girls shared their stories and anger at the injustice we have faced. It was like a mass funeral and we grieved for every single womxn that we’ve lost. We supported each other. We were unified. And we were so powerful. I have never felt anything like that amount of power and unity in my life.

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GBV Protest in Sandton | Photo Credit: Ammaarah Cachalia

And young womxn all over the country did this. They used their voices and shared their anger. And we listened. We took a stand. We led a revolution. It is so important to speak up against injustice, especially in youth spaces. We were born into a world of chaos and we are the ones that are changing it. Listening to the youth take a stand against GBV and being part of the movement is so empowering.

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As a young person, it is so frustrating to watch as “people in charge” do nothing to solve the problem. It is so frustrating to see them ignore the issues that are in plain sight. The youth are frustrated and tired and we have decided that if the adults won’t spark a change, we will take matters into our own hands.

GBV protest
GBV Protest | Photo Credit: Mara Mbele (@mvrv_m)

It is important to have these discussions amongst the youth because we are fighting for our future and our world. We have to talk to each other and support each other and unite to spark a change. I have felt the power the youth hold as I marched with them and called for a change in one big mass of unity. 

I have felt the strength we have as a collective. 

And it felt good.

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Raeesah Noor-Mahomed

(QRATE Social Media Intern & Gender & Climate Change Activist)