Womanhood In South Africa

VICE, the world’s largest independent youth media agency and 1st for Women Insurance recently teamed up to create WOMANHOOD, a film that highlights the women of South Africa, and their stories. 

“In the wake of  the #AmINext movement, we asked the question – what does it mean to be a woman in South Africa today? The answers from a broad cross-section of South African women revealed that we are more than our statistics and our challenges.  We are more than the headlines that dominate the global narrative. We are not victims or survivors but a nation of ‘thrivers’. WOMANHOOD gives a voice to South African women and showcases the stories that connects us as women,” says Casey Rousseau from 1st for Women Insurance.

Public Service workers, including nurses and other hospital workers, school teachers, Home Affairs employeees, picket in the centre of Cape Town 01 June 2007, on the first day of their nation-wide strike, asking for a 12% pay increase, whilst the government is offering 6%. Here, nurses, cleaners, and other workers, working at Groote Schuur Hospital, behind them, picket at the main gate to the hospital. AFP PHOTO/RODGER BOSCH / AFP PHOTO / STRINGER

The film, created by Virtue, the creative agency by VICE,  provides an authentic narrative on the societal issues facing the women of South Africa.

“We developed WOMANHOOD as a visual and audio tapestry that documents the complex narratives that shapes life as a South African women. The film digs in deep to many societal issues from freedom, barriers and body to motherhood, identity, pain and the future. It goes beyond the trivial stereotypical clichés that women are often bound by. It represents the ‘average’ South African woman, but also the women that are not often given a platform or voice,” says Ciaran Bonass, Executive Creative Director, VICE MENA.

The film was developed on the back of research conducted by VICE and 1st for Women that brought about the statement – ‘not yet’.

“Not yet is an answer we often heard when we asked women if they, or a family member, had ever experienced abuse of any kind. ‘Not yet’ singularly defines the expectancy and acceptance of abuse of women in South Africa,” says Rousseau.

Beyond abuse, the film sets out to address many other micro-issues including self-barriers, gender-based workplace issues, the importance of male parenting, sexuality and many more fears which contribute to the larger systemic and patriarchal issues of gender-based violence in the country.

The film is accompanied by impactful and emotive imagery on social media platforms which feature intricate and intimate stories from some of the women featured in the campaign. It provides a space for honest and open conversations and for the women of South Africa to share some of their most complex stories of hope, resilience and strength.

“Women are bonded through shared stories and shared experiences. Our bonds strengthen us, personally and collectively. And the stronger the individual, the stronger the whole.  Together, we have power beyond measure. United, there’s nothing we can’t do,” concludes Rousseau.

Source: iAfrica