Issues and challenges facing women came under the microscope at the Braamfontein Recreation Centre when hundreds of female employees of the City of Johannesburg gathered to commemorate the 60th anniversary of National Women’s Month.
The event, held in honour of the more than 20 000 women who bravely marched to the Union Buildings in Pretoria on 9 August 1956 in protest against injustices meted out against women by the apartheid government, was also attended and addressed by top women achievers in the corporate world.
The main official event was held at the Union Buildings on Tuesday August 9 and addressed by President Jacob Zuma.
“We’re here to reflect on the stories of women. Today we’re superstars and we’ve a reason to celebrate even though there are still issues of suffering around women,” said the Deputy Director of Performance Management in Social Development, Judith Mtswewu at Thursday’s event.
“This is our day to engage other women and talk about issues that affect us. Most importantly, it’s our day to have fun as strong professional women.”
Elgina Ndhlovu, Director of Stakeholder Management and Compliance in the City’s Public Safety Department, said the event was a great opportunity to look at issues that held women back from achieving their ultimate goals.
“As women leaders we become so hard on other women when we’re put in positions of power. We need to be able to open doors for other women and change the way we look at life,” said Ndhlovu. She said it was time women took control of their lives and realised that they were where they were because of other women who had made huge sacrifices for the country. Let’s be the agents of change in both our personal and professional lives. Let's identify young people in our various departments and mentor them to be great women and future leaders,” said Ndhlovu.
Egnes Macheve, who shared her story about how she made it against all odds, encouraged other women to empower themselves through education. Macheve, a partner at Deloitte, said hard work made her the success she was today.
“No one told me I had to work hard. It’s something that I knew I had to do,” said Macheve.
Dr Nosipho Mngomezulu said women must take control of their lives.
“It’s important to reflect even on our hardships because they make us stronger and there are lessons to be learnt in the challenges we go through as women,” said Dr Mngomezulu.
She said women must be celebrated every day, not only on Women’s Day or Women’s Month.
“Women’s Day is a revolutionary day; it’s about honouring and remembering the sacrifices that other women made in order for us to be where we are today," she said.
Old Mutual's Lungelo Mdlalose spoke about money matters and how women needed to start seeing money differently.
“Build a positive relationship with your financial life. Your mind is not allowing you to see the opportunities that are available to you,” Mdlalose.
The women were entertained by a DJ and Ghetto Revolution dancers.