Democracy Development Program was proud to host the Women, Democracy and Leadership Conference on 18 August 2021. The Conference aimed at identifying challenges impending effective positions for women in the civic, economic and political leadership in South Africa.
With the theme, Reinvigorating the fight against systemic power imbalances – an increased access to positions of power for women, DDP had a panel of brilliant speakers. The speakers included:
Pamela Munemo, Founder of Centre for Socio-Economic Transformation;
Councillor Nicole Graham, Leader of the Democratic Alliance in the Ethekwini Council;
Sizophila Mkhize, African National Congress Youth League National Spokesperson;
Ruby Motaung, Executive Director at Tree-ECD.
The speakers provided the audience with riveting conversations that spoke to legislative outcomes for women empowerment; the necessary policy change that needs to happen to fight systemic power imbalances for women; and the value women have in their communities and society. The event came at a time when matters of sexism, racism and economic inequality affected women. DDP provided a platform for women to provide solutions to systemic problems that affect them daily. DDP used this Conference as a means to give women the opportunity to take ownership of their existence and their intrinsic value to the South African society. Women from the audience, at the venue and virtually, got the opportunity to ask DDP’s guest speakers questions. These questions ranged from matters of gender equality and inclusion to the tangible shifts that need to happen for the enhancement of women’s roles in civic, economic and political leadership in South Africa.
History shows that women’s struggle for freedom from oppression in their households or in the public realm, has often been disregarded. South African women have come a long way from having zero franchise in politics to have women sit as Members of Parliament and Executives in businesses. However, there is still an even longer journey ahead. Issues of gender-based violence, sexism, racism and economic inequality still remain prevalent in the lives of many South African women. It is because of these remanent issues that DDP found the importance of hosting such an event. It is important for women to be given the platform to voice out their problems, along with their solutions to issues affecting them. DDP was proud to be an organisation that could provide such an opportunity. DDP’s values: Educate, Mobilise and Activate were prominent at the event. The air was filled with strength, courage and gentleness. The contribution from the speakers and audience truly showed one: wathinta abafazi wathinta imbokodo.