Today WLM is putting a spotlight on a young upcoming woman leader. Her name is Gabby Oliver and this is what she has to say!
1. What you are currently studying and why?
I’m currently underway in completing a BA degree double-majoring in Political Science and Ethics. I’m in my final year and can confidently say it hasn’t been an easy academic journey for me due to my revolutionary responsibilities I voluntarily took during the student uprising of the #Feesmustfall movement and serving as a national student leader for South African students from 2017-2019, but I look forward to graduating and wish to continue studying and acquiring more degrees no matter the duration and effort it will take to get it done because I’ve learned overtime that indeed education is one of the best methods to build strong character. Besides my 2 main majors I have completed additional courses in my undergrad including the study of sociology, theology, medical-anthropology, women and gender studies, library science, humanities, and philosophy to mention a few.
2. How did you hear about Women Lead Movement?
I found out about the women lead movement through a mutual friend and through social media and I visited the website as well.
3. Why did you reach out to WLM?
Mainly to understand and learn more about the work of the women lead movement and how I as a young woman can play a contributory role in shaping the movement to achieve its aims and objectives particularly its urgency to fight inequality that continues to maintain structural inequalities.
4. What are your views on the importance of promoting gender equality?
I firmly believe that every person’s first and main ideology prior any other political ideals should be the promotion of gender equality. I hold strong views on the importance of promoting gender equality simply because I’m consciously aware that my gender as a woman often disadvantages me for no credible reason despite having raw talents and good qualities as a female and woman. I am also aware that women still earn less despite having the same level of education or qualifications as our male counterparts, women also receive little to no justice for the violence engrossed on us, women also have less access to sanitation and education and I can’t tolerate such injustices. Therefore I fully comprehend the severe importance for promoting gender equality but to take it a step further , I believe that the only way to settle the imbalance between men and women , a system that radically and unapologetically prioritize women and girls at the detriment of patriarchal ideals must be implemented. The reason why I uphold this believe is based on the fact that women have historically been marginalized in almost all spheres of life including economically, politically and socially. Even in contemporary society women continue to be at the bottom of the social hierarchy due to structural inequality that mostly benefits males and white males predominately. This must change without a doubt.
5. What role, if any do you see yourself play in Women Lead Movement in the future?
If I could play a contributory role in the women’s lead movement it would probably be mobilizing and recruiting members of various communities to play an active role in reviving their communities in the form of being more informed citizens. An uniformed society will fail to make the best decisions for the future generation thus all sorts of politicians monopolize off the marginalization and poor literacy of the majority to push narrow ideological agendas that often doesn’t benefit communities or fails to transform the discourse for a better tomorrow. I think I would prefer to inform and shape the intellect of civil society because everyone is born with a brain and possess the capacity to think, no one is born “stupid” therefore we need to support each other with information and wisdom to make healthier decisions not only for ourselves but the broader society. Unfortunately education, in particular tertiary education in South Africa is a privilege and not a right because only a small portion of young people get to enter the gates of higher learning leaving millions behind to be swallowed up by the system that keeps us poor , uneducated and deeply marginalized, myself as student therefore have an obligation to uplift those who are ignored and dejected by the government, I must help carry their hopes and aspirations because I know they were and still are disadvantaged not because of their own in capabilities but because society is being managed by an elite minority that benefits financially off the poor.
Another role I could see myself playing in the movement is capacitating the women lead movement until it becomes the biggest women lead movement in Africa. The future is Female without a doubt.