International Women’s Day celebrates the achievements of women across the globe regardless of race, sexual orientation or social and economic standing. This days also calls for action to accelerate gender parity.
International Women’s Day (IWD) has been observed for well over a century, with the first IWD gathering in 1911 supported by over a million people in Austria, Denmark, Germany, and Switzerland. Prior to this, the Socialist Party of America, United Kingdom’s Suffragists and Suffragettes and further groups also campaigned for women’s equality.
This year’s theme is #BalanceforBetter, which focuses on creating a gender-balanced world.
This year, we are commending and highlighting the work of five young Capetonian women to keep an eye on:
This artist, based in the southern suburb of Mitchells Plain, was recently approached by two writers from the United States to illustrate the world’s first alphabet book created specifically for young girls of colour.
The book, written by Chelsae and Channing Moreland, wrote the book to inspire a positive self-image in little girls by perpetuating positive representations of colour.
All the illustrations in “B is for Black Girl” were created by Donson, who is also an artist of note not only in Cape Town, but across the world. Her primary medium is digital art.
“I want it to make people see women of colour differently. Not just as loud and bold, but soft and delicate too. More than anything I just want to create a world where little brown and black girls can grow up knowing that they are beautiful and knowing that the world sees them that way too,” Donson’s official site reads.
Kat Van Duinen
This Polish designer is well-known for her luxurious and proudly South African-made leather goods.
Van Duinen moved to Cape Town years ago and now considers herself a local of the Mother City, as this is the place she calls home. What began solely as a luxury leather brand quickly grew into a fashion house that evolved to offer ready-to-wear garment collections as well as couture to any private client who requests it.
This popular Cape Town band consists of best friends Roxy Caroline and Helen Wells, who are both talented multi-instrumentalists, vocalists and songwriters. The pair are unsigned musicians, and use their collective voice to make their opinions heard and forward the agenda of fluidity between the sexes.
“It’s important for different experiences to be shared and heard, especially if you’re a womxn,” they said during an interview with 10and5.
The pair decided to name their band “Hyroine” instead of the traditional “heroine” as a way of actively rebelling against misogyny.
Kim Windvogel is a Capetonian writer, activist and poet, as well as co-founder of a non-profit company called FemmeProjects NPC. FemmeProjects NPC goes to local schools to facilitate feminist sexual – and menstrual -health workshops to help teenage girls better understand and cope with puberty. She has appeared on local TV show AfternoonExpress and was recently in New York taking part in a political forum on sustainability.
Amy Jeptha is an award-winning young film director and screenwriter from the salty plateau of Mitchells Plain. She achieved international recognition as the scriptwriter for the Ellen Pakkies biopic Ellen, The Ellen Pakkies Story after the film premiered at the Rotterdam International Film Festival in January.
She also received an award for the Best Script and Best Short Film categories at the 2017 KykNet Silwerskermfees for her short film Soldaat. She has also been named in the Mail & Guardian 200 Young South Africans and Destiny Magazine’s 40 Women Under 40, and has also won the Eugene Marais Prize.