“You are not alone, and I am not alone. We are in a sisterhood, together, and together we can make it.” – Sarah Mae, author

Sisterhoods are women’s secret weapon. They are the ultimate women’s support systems. Sisterhoods have existed since ancient times, and are thriving to this day. They are found in every society, and at just about every level of society.

Sisterhoods can be formal or informal, large or small, close-by or spread across continents. They are made up of (actual) sisters, and/or other female relatives, friends, colleagues. Their support is wide-ranging. A sympathetic ear. Giving advice. Sharing knowledge. Helping out practically. Having fun times together. Lending just about anything that other sisters may need. Just holding a woman together when she is falling apart. Your “sisters” are there for you in every situation; from the most joyful to the most devastating. And more. 

“Women forget how much we can inspire one another. No one understands us like us.”  – Alexandra Elle, author 

How to recognise sisters
  1. Sisters are positive people.
  2. They don’t judge you.
  3. Sisters accept you as and for who you are.
  4. They mentor one another.
  5. Sisters share their knowledge and wisdom.
  6. They validate one another.
  7. Sisters enjoy spending time together in all kinds of activities.
  8. They are ready to help.

Your sisterhood may consist of just one sister or quite a few. Value them. Each one enriches your life in her own special way. And you grow and are strengthened and empowered when you reach out to support them.

“When women support each other, incredible things happen.” – Unknown

It is heartening to learn that the spirit of sisterhood is alive and well in all kinds of spheres. For example, many businesswomen, worldwide, are lifting their sisters. Instead of being put off by potential competition, they are supporting their entrepreneur sisters in all kinds of ways. There are far too many to mention here. Here are two South Africans:

Jenna Clifford triumphed in a challenging background and she also overcame business startup obstacles. Today she heads up a highly successful, internationally-known jewellery design company. She has been a strong advocate of women’s rights and equality. Promoting women in business is an activity she excels in. As a result, she was selected as the torchbearer to the United Nations Millennium Development Goals 3 project.

Jenna Clifford

Basetsana Kumalo, former Miss SA and TV entrepreneur and celebrity, is another extremely successful businesswoman. She encourages investments by women and creates opportunities for them to do so.

Basetsana Kumalo

There are also a number of initiatives in South Africa to lift young women. One of these identifies as a sisterhood. DreamGirls Academy describes themselves as “a sisterhood of empowered women driven to empower teen girls and young women.”

Ezlyn Barends

It was started, and continues to be steered, by three young black professional women. Ezlyn Barnes, Mmabatho Mokiti and Marise Mackay. All of them have been recognised for their successes in their careers. The academy uses a variety of strategies to accomplish its mission. They provide access to education, mentorships, coaching, and even financial assistance for studies, amongst others.

Mmabatho Mokiti

Sisters and sisterhoods are way too numerous to acknowledge here. However, the internet abounds with their stories. Read them and be inspired.

Marise Mackay

Long live the sisterhoods! May they continue to flourish and multiply.

“There is strength in sisterhood.” – Unknown


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