Today, across the globe, people come together to celebrate the significance of having a voice. While in its literal sense, a voice allows us to communicate with those around us, at Quote This Woman+ (QW+), we celebrate the metaphorical meaning of voice: the power to influence wider spheres and be heard by those in different situations and positions.
Our mission is rooted in giving voice to the voiceless. Why? Because those who are most impacted by poverty, inequality, inadequate service delivery, healthcare, violence, health crises, environmental degradation, and democratic failures are rarely heard and seldom have a seat at the decision-making table. We acknowledge that women bear the brunt of these issues, but other marginalised groups also face disproportionate challenges, including those who are rural, lack education, are disabled, or are marginalised due to sexual orientation or gender identity. This is why we use the term “women+”: our feminist beliefs are intersectional, recognizing the need to fight for equality beyond gender alone.
We envision a world where the perspectives of women+ enrich and broaden debates, challenge the status quo, and drive meaningful change. Where the power of voice is not concentrated in the hands of a few, primarily men.
The Media – Our Weapon of Choice
The media plays a crucial role in shaping policies, highlighting issues that demand solutions, and shaping our perceptions of the world we live in. With elections approaching, this role becomes even more critical, as the media has the potential to influence election manifestos.
But who has a voice in the media? The answer is largely men, often educated and wealthy. They represent only a fraction of our society, yet make up approximately 80% of the voices quoted in the media in South Africa. Women+ voices are often left out of conversations that are essential for understanding and defining pivotal moments in our country’s and the world’s history.
Kath, the director of QW+, has this to say:
At Quote This Woman+, we firmly believe that cultivating diverse voices is not just a moral imperative, it’s a strategic one that benefits us all. When we elevate the voices of women+ from diverse backgrounds and fields, we create a richer, more nuanced media landscape that is better equipped to tackle the complex issues facing our world today.
What Can You Do?
If you believe in the power of voice, there are several actions you can take to ensure this power is distributed equitably across society.
First, actively listen to the women+ in your life. Even if their voices are not being amplified by the media, we can create a culture where certain individuals are not silenced – by simply listening. By encouraging women+ to speak up, and helping them overcome the internalised belief that their voice is less important, you can join the wave of change.
Practically, if you are a woman or a member of a marginalised community with something to say, join our database so we can connect you with the media! We welcome individuals from various backgrounds, including community activists, academics, analysts, and more, covering a wide range of topics such as politics, business, sports, government, healthcare, and beyond. And if you feel apprehensive about speaking to the media, fret not, as we provide training courses to help you feel confident.
Lastly, spread the word about us. Encourage your friends and family to join our database and support our cause in amplifying the voices of women+ and marginalised communities in the media.
Together, we can work towards a more inclusive world where all voices are heard and valued.