What is the women’s circle? Who are the executive members? Whose idea was it forms a circle?
The circle is an ancient form of meeting of human beings, with respectful conversation for thousands of years, serving as a foundation for many cultures. Similarly, throughout history women have gathered in a sacred circle, where there is no hierarchy or patriarchy. Each woman’s voice is equally important, her story honored and received fully. The executive members will be elected at the launch, made up of ordinary women from all walks of life. The idea was born from the Soul Sisters organization which represents the LGBT groupings together with myself and members of the MF Women’s League. The Minority has a long association with the LGBT groups in South Africa, as we see them as Minorities and the MF has ensured their inclusion in our laws and policies.
What is the purpose of the circle? Was a there specific need or request made?
The purpose of the circle is to provide a meeting of women, where there is a shift from informal socialising or opinionated discussion into a receptive attitude of thoughtful speaking and deep listening, to one another. Women congregate to laugh, share, heal, care, grieve and spiritually connect in such communities. There is power, energy and solidarity fostered by support, creativity and sharing of ideas. The ripple effect positively impacts society at large. There was a specific request made by Ms Farida Jalal for such an organization to assist women facing daily challenges, upon seeing the successes of the Minority Front in initiating widows support groups from 2010, in our communities. The Women’s Circle is unique in that it includes all women.
What type of organisation is the circle? Is it a non-profit organisation?
This organization is voluntary and not an NPO. It will be self-funded by individuals who are members of the Women’s Circle. The Minority Front will assist women in the community outreach programmes, in this way.
What work will be done through it?
The Women’s Circle will be an inspiring organization, with life-changing activities which are culturally responsive and adaptable. The goal is to work on all 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s) especially SDG 5 or Gender Equality: Unique work such as, the support of women’s self-discovery relationships and well-being requires a commitment to each other in a circle, creating a vessel of healing and transformation for themselves, acting as a vehicle for change in their world.
What in your view, are the challenges that women face on a daily basis and that the circle would be assisting with?
Women face the daily burden of transformative times of global conflict and economic uncertainty; hence the women’s circle is needed more than ever. However, despite outward appearances of distinction and decline, our human consciousness is evolving very rapidly, so the feminine principles are central and essential to the new world being birthed because women want to support women due to the interconnection, vulnerability, common related issues and cooperation, historically undervalued by patriarchy and dominance. In this way, issues such as, self-care, physical, emotional, spiritual, sexual wellness, working and professional relationships, family, friendships, competition and community development will be the programme goals of the women’s Circle.
Finally, this idea dates back to ways in which Native American’s, Indian Indentured labourers, the Shembe community and even the Maasai of Kenya and other tribes have traditionally used circles or gathering around prayer places or camp-fires to connect and discuss issues to resolve them. In modern terms this Minority Front Women’s Circle is a joint problem solving vehicle for our communities and we would like to form Women’s Circles all over Kwa-Zulu Natal.