Women continue to impact positive social change and transformation significantly, often more than they are given credit for. As we continue to fight for a more progressive society where women are empowered and seen and treated as equals, the hope for a more diverse, equal and inclusive world is on the horizon, writes Kirsten Arendse in her latest piece in honour of Women’s Month.
Though Women’s Month has drawn to a close, we see this as merely the end of one chapter. We are hopeful that a new chapter awaits — abound with fruitful prospects that will enable women to take up more space.
Taking its cue from this year’s national Women’s Month’s theme, “Gender Equality: Realising Women’s Rights for an Equal Future”, we credit much of our growth and achievements to the pioneering women practitioners at RACS.
For RACS, “generation equality” defines the relationship between deep knowledge, wisdom and extensive experience coupled with fresh perspectives, a youthful sense of tenacity and a clear vision. Critical thinking and reflection are integral activities that aim to define our practices and redefine the contexts in which we function. This thinking and necessity were highlighted by our women consultants, who have translated practical learning into critical analyses, strategic thinking, and action.
With mediation requiring the presence of women, as stipulated by the UN, we pride ourselves in helping to build a future where women are at the forefront of transformation and change. The expansion of our business has allowed us to introduce more women in spaces of conflict as change agents to empower them to become living examples of active, working, real-time transformation agents. The skills women bring to the mediation table or in the workshop space are invaluable. Therefore, “generation equality” means that each woman in and outside of RACS should be allowed to participate, meaningfully engage, and provide key insights into how to shift society to an equal place that works for all.
Women are behind some of the bold and innovative moves we have made as a business:
- Dr Lorna Balie is at the helm of a think tank that combines theoretical knowledge and contextual analyses with living experiences.
- Our robust Learning, Capacity & Development Programme has been actively facilitated by two seasoned professionals, René Ngwenya and Michelene Benson.
- Skilled consultants like Vuyokazi Luxade on Blue Dot work collaboratively and creatively to transform the transport industry.
- Kirsten Arendse and Elana de Beer are two young female creatives who oversee the evolution of our branding journey.
- Administration and operations are streamlined systems, thanks to Lali Pikashe and Nafisah Behardien.
- And not to forget Melanie February — the woman who holds us all together and tends to the deeper mechanics of RACS, constantly reinforcing our pride and values.
Each of these women contributes to a multifaceted system founded on the principles of connection and empowerment. The strong connection between these remarkable women allows RACS to effect the change it deeply desires. It promotes empowerment amongst individuals to actualise the future they envision.
August may have come to an end, but our commitment to celebrating the divine feminine energy in our business and surrounding communities is unwavering. We commit to continue supporting women in shaping a better, brighter and more just society. We support and call on the integration of women in all spaces, especially those in need of deep transformation. Let us continue to shake the table, redefine the status quo and allow women to take up space where they so desire.