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Friday, 14 February 2020

Minister leads the way for girls’ education

TRAILBLAZING WOMEN: Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma having a heart-to-heart dialogue with Ilitha Labantu founder, Mandisa Monakali during the 25th Anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Civil Society Consultative Forum at Bellville Campus. TRAILBLAZING WOMEN: Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma having a heart-to-heart dialogue with Ilitha Labantu founder, Mandisa Monakali during the 25th Anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Civil Society Consultative Forum at Bellville Campus.

Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs, Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, has encouraged mothers to educate the girl-children so that they are empowered economically and on how to respond to sexual and gender-based violence.

In her closing remarks at the 25th Anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Civil Society Consultative Forum held at Bellville Campus recently, Dlamini-Zuma said: “We should double our efforts to educate young girls and open pathways for them to study in the Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts and Mathematics.”

A cross-section of women in leadership from state institutions, non-governmental organisations, student leaders, people living with disabilities and LGBTQI attended the conference hosted by the NGO Ilitha Labantu in partnership with CPUT.

The minister also emphasised a need to accelerate collective efforts towards ensuring that the advancement of women and gender equality becomes a reality. “We must implement the six catalytic action coalitions towards realising the end of gender-based violence, the economic inclusion of women in a just and rights-based society, bodily autonomy, sexual and reproductive health and rights, feminist actions for climate justice, technology and innovation for gender equality [and] feminist leadership.”

The former African Union Commission Chairperson also urged the audience which also included former ministers, Bathabile Dlamini, Zoe Kota to raise responsible young men who will not be abusive towards the other gender.

“This will also require that we adopt deterrent measures and policies which will, amongst others, render harsher sentences towards those who are found guilty. We must also desist from employing and giving business to those found guilty of gender-based violence,” she added.

CPUT Director for Institutional Transformation, Social Cohesion and Diversity, Nonkosi Tyolwana, said the partnerships with civil society and NGOs such as Ilitha Labantu proves that the university is not a “White elephant”. “The university services local needs; produces knowledge based on the African context…The conference was able to link the [local] universities with communities they serve.”

Tyolwana added that students had an opportunity to discuss issues affecting them including gender-based violence with the community-based organisations, government leaders, international guests such as UN Resident Coordinator in South Africa, Nardos Bekele-Thomas.

Written by Aphiwe Boyce