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What makes a woman? Is it her smile? Her soft skin and soft curves? Her femininity? It’s tempting to define a woman by all these, but there’s more to a woman than what meets the eye. Most would be tempted to say a woman is an adult female. But let’s look at that for a second; what about intellect, or charisma or inner beauty? Stay with me, this is not another feminist rant, just a declaration of who women are by a fellow woman.

To shed light on the power of women, we shall focus, for a brief moment,on the history and fun facts behind National Women’s Day celebrated on 9 August. On this particular day in 1956, approximately 20 000 women of all races gathered in one of the country’s largest demonstrations and marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria to present a petition against women carrying passes to the prime minister JG Strijdom. It is during this march that the saying “ to strike a woman is to strike a rock” became a wide spread saying. This is the essence of celebrating women and recognising not only their beauty but their strength that makes women so awesome.

So from this march, we know that women are powerful and unstoppable when they are united. So this women’s day is a day to remind us of the phenomenal power that lies within women and the burdens they carry on their shoulders.

To put yourself in the shoes of a woman is like putting a chicken in heels, almost impossible. All the effort to smell good and look good, who can imagine the investment that takes. However, it goes beyond the surface. For some, it’s waking up everyday in a male dominated world just to provide a brighter future for the offspring, for some, it’s being the super hero that their children need them to be, while for others, it simply looking herself in the mirror and believing that she is beautiful, even when no one else sees it.

So if after all this, women still don’t hold a high regard in your eyes, maybe this reminder from Maya Angelou will.

Phenomenal Woman

By Maya Angelou

Pretty women wonder where my secret lies.

I’m not cute or built to suit a fashion model’s size

But when I start to tell them,

They think I’m telling lies.

I say,

It’s in the reach of my arms,

The span of my hips,

The stride of my step,

The curl of my lips.

I’m a woman


Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

Men themselves have wondered

What they see in me.

They try so much

But they can’t touch

My inner mystery.

When I try to show them,

They say they still can’t see.

I say,

It’s in the arch of my back,

The sun of my smile,

The ride of my breasts,

The grace of my style.

I’m a woman


Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.

Now you understand

Just why my head’s not bowed.

I don’t shout or jump about

Or have to talk real loud.

When you see me passing,

It  ought to make you proud.

I say,

It’s in the click of  my heels,

The bend of my hair,

The palm of my hand,

The need for my care.

‘Cause I’m a woman


Phenomenal woman,

That’s me.


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