Heritage is amongst other things; about practices and traditions that are passed on from previous generations. It is about behaviours and values handed on from past cultures. Heritage month is not only about re-visiting our traditions and wearing our traditional attires, but also about taking some time and reflect on norms and behaviours that are inherited until this day but continue to infringe upon the rights of other people and hindering progress in the current day. Heritage month is about reflecting on what cultures have worked so far versus the ones that are no longer working given the status quo.
Maybe gender inequality made sense in the past to the people who invented it then. However it is no longer relevant in the current day and nothing is stopping the current generations from making the most needed change. Change to treat men and women as equal human beings is the beginning of wisdom. It is time for a paradigm change. It is very sad to observe everything around us evolving except issues that matter most.
Gender disparity is about treating someone unfairly different because of their gender. This is as detrimental as treating someone different because they are of a different race. This heritage has been proven to be hindering the most needed progress in economies; however it is not warranted the aggression and the attention it demands. We are like a person who prays every day with great faith to win the lotto, but never ever bother to buy a lotto ticket. We cannot continue to behave the same as we did many years ago, while everything else around us is evolving.
Gender disparity has been proven to affect so many areas of our lives, physically and otherwise (economic transformation, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), Social Capital, Human progress, overall growth; the list is endless).
I regard inequality generally as a root of all evil. It is because of inequality that someone would think they have a right to abuse or kill someone because they consider themselves superior, entitled and more important than that person. If I regard someone as equal, I would treat that person with the respect that I feel I myself deserve. I will treat that next person like they matter, much as I value myself. If I regard myself otherwise, I will see nothing wrong with abuse, oppression, corruption, murder, rape, slavery, theft or any kind of an inhumane conduct.
It is unimaginable the positive change that the world can effect by just treating men and women equally; economically, traditionally, socially and affording them opportunities based on merit and nothing else.
As Kwetso Foundation, we treat men and women equally, either professionally or otherwise. Through this wisdom, we are able to harness and tap into talents and gifts of all our team members and volunteers. This has given our vision so much value, and this is just the beginning of our journey.
Treating people unequally is a conscious decision; a mindset. Inversely, it is a conscious decision to treat people equally. We can start by changing the manner we treat our partners, people in our society, our colleagues, our families and ourselves as individuals.
Kwetso Foundation wants to urge everybody, during this month of Heritage, to reflect and make that needed change in our home, society, workplace, economy, political party, parliament, church, lovelife and every sphere of our existence. It is time.
Secretary, Kwetso Foundation