On 17 August 2022, Democracy Development Program hosted its 3rd Annual Women’s Conference. The theme for the year: Women in leadership and development: promoting women as change agents for sustainable development in the post-COVID-19 era.
The event was fruitful and engaging with an audience of 50 women at the main venue and 150 at the remote sites. Academic, Dr. Zama Dhlamini presented the keynote address. The address highlighted the intersectionality of gender with various factors. These factors included race, power, privilege, media, and sports. The address stimulated responses from the audience regarding the positionality of women socially and politically in South Africa. Questions and engagement regarding the teenage pregnancy epidemic faced in our country.
We also heard from Councilor Nonhlanhla Gabela of UMgungundlovu District. Cllr Gabela brought a unique perspective of women’s call for equality in positions of power, particularly in political circles. Ideas of equality, representation, and empowerment of women were implored by Cllr Gabela. A panelist conversation with UKZN’s EEFSC deputy chairperson, Nosipho Manzini, and Dr. Zama Dlamini, facilitated by DDP’s Yanga Malotana. The panel explored a sub-theme: Repositioning the role of women towards furthering economic, social, and political progress for all.
The panel discussion was then followed by an audience-led café style session whereby they shared their ideas of enhancing active participation and gender equality practices for women. It goes without saying that the energy in the room was fun, exciting, and enjoyable. The conference was a moment for the women in attendance to articulate their struggles and their wins. A push for a more inclusive woman environment regardless of gender, race, or sexuality was advocated for.
DDP is grateful to have hosted these women and this conference. We thank our esteemed guest speakers for their insights and ideas. We also thank our partners for the event: Konrad Adenauer Stiftung; the National Youth Development Agency and the National African Federated Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
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