On Monday, 8 August, Overstrand’s ladies in uniform announced their integrated plan to help put an end to the carnage on our roads and to protect both Overstrand's community and its wildlife. Hosted at the Zwelihle Community Hall, this event was planned to coincide with Women’s Month and was attended by 28 female representatives of Overstrand’s uniformed forces, representing Overstrand Protection Services, Hermanus SAPS, Provincial Traffic Services as well as Marine and Coastal Management.
Hosted at the Zwelihle Community Hall, this event was planned to coincide with Women’s Month and was attended by 28 female representatives of Overstrand’s uniformed forces.
Given their hectic schedules and workloads, the attendees seldom have the opportunity to socialise and exchange notes. On this occasion, though, they thoroughly enjoyed exchanging their “recipes” for being “bold and beautiful” and for “instilling trust in those they serve by being noble and trusting”. These sentiments were echoed in the closing address delivered by Neville Michaels, Director: Protection Services, who emphasised that female officers should always celebrate the special beauty they, as dedicated women in uniform, are privileged to portray.
In the course of Women’s Month, Overstrand’s ladies in uniform plan to visit old-age homes, hospices, schools and places of safety that offer temporary homes to children at risk. Their prerogative, though, remains to enforce the law. And to show that they mean business, the ladies manned the first of many vehicle checkpoints along the R43 in the vicinity of Sandbaai on the very same day.
The intention with roadblocks of this nature is not only to remove vehicles that are not roadworthy from our roads, but also to offer safety tips to road users and to ensure that everyone who uses our roads refrain from driving under the influence, adhere to safe driving practices and are duly licensed to be behind the wheel of the vehicle they happen to be driving.
When asked what value they attach to celebrating Women’s Month, the attendees were unequivocal in their response: Women’s Month is a celebration of women’s rights to be fully-fledged citizens who are free to realise their full potential without prejudice and without fear of retribution. On the other hand, though, it is also a reminder that society should not turn a blind eye towards women the world over – and perhaps even right next door to us – who are still being exploited, abused and denied their right to be treated equally and with respect.
Here is what some of our ladies in uniform had to say on the matter:
1. "For me, Women’s Month is all about showing appreciation towards us as women and our abilities." Miss N Kholisile, Overstrand Traffic Services.
2. “Women’s Month is about celebrating the freedom and acceptance of women after being previously disadvantaged. It proves that women can wear uniform and be just as successful as men and sometimes even more so. Women don't always have the physical strength of men, but they entail of amazing intellectual abilities and that makes them worth celebrating.” Miss M Simon, Marine and Coastal Management
3. Overstrand Law Enforcer, Ms R Samuels, says Women’s Month is all about creating awareness around the abuse of women and to reinforce the fact that officials like her are there to combat crimes such as these. She also views this month as an opportunity to celebrate the freedom and equality women have fought long and hard for.
4. For SAPS representatives Capt. Fisher, Ms T Pieters and Ms A Ali, Women’s Month is a celebration of the role women fulfil at work and at home. In their opinion, the days when women were regarded as mere housekeepers are long past. Nowadays they fulfil an important and crucial role in the workplace, too. “In fact, women are the be all and end all both at home and at work”, they concluded.
5. Overstrand Fire & Rescue representative, Mrs Sarolyn Coert, views Women's Day as a celebration for women all over the world: “A day when women can get together, celebrate being women and all they've come through with a reminder of how much further there still is to go. I know that Women's Day didn't start that way. It started as part of an industrial struggle, but these days, while there's still a lot of struggling to be done, I think there should be a strong emphasis on celebration.”