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Wednesday, 06 September 2017

Women in Leadership Conference

Robin Thynsma: Pixel Place Robin Thynsma: Pixel Place

A conference which empowered young women in higher education with skills such as entrepreneurship, self-defence and personal branding was recently held on the Bellville Campus.

The two-day conference, which was hosted by the HIV/Aids Unit, was attended by approximately 300 female students from universities and TVET Colleges around the Western Cape.
Prof Nomafrench Mbombo, Western Cape Health MEC, told the young women to be wary of risky sexual activities as it could lead to their downfall such as unwanted pregnancies, sexual transmitted infections and abusive relationships.
“Girls are groomed for men’s sexual gratification,” she said.

Mbombo decried the patriarchal environment which raises boys differently from girls and added that young women sometimes feel the pressure to have children in order to please or gain hold over their men and that transactional sex is a common practice these days as women wants to live the good life. 

Acting Dean: Faculty of Health and Wellness Sciences, Prof Penelope Engel-Hills, said she works with communities around issues of gender-based violence. 
“In this country women are not well at the moment and this means that the society at large is ill,” said Engel-Hills.

HEAIDS Project Manager, Alex Semba, said the conference was a platform for the delegates to network with each other.
Semba discussed the programmes that HEAIDS is providing to universities and colleges to address the ‘blessing’ culture in a bid to reduce HIV infections among women between the ages of 15 and 24 by 30%.
He said health and wellness is important in order for higher education institutions to perform their core functions of teaching, research and community engagement. 
During the conference the delegates received goodie bags and spot prizes, and were equipped with a range of skills including personal safety, entrepreneurship and leadership.

Written by Kwanele Butana


Provides coverage for the Business and Management Sciences and Education Faculties, Student Affairs Department and Cape Town and Mowbray Campuses.