Championing women’s rights a priority – Prof Mazibuko

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UNIZULU Vice-Chancellor, Professor Fikile NM Mazibuko, has implored women in higher education to champion causes that advance the rights of women and children in society and in the workplace.

While many positive strides have been made in addressing challenges that are facing women there is still a long way to go, she said. Some of these challenges include illiteracy, high levels of TB infection in women and the violence directed at women and girls.

“I urge you to pledge your support in transforming society into a safer environment, by inculcating values that will embed a greater responsibility and lay a foundation for the development of our children into socially responsive and productive citizens.”

Prof Mazibuko was addressing female staff members at the Women’s Day celebration event held at the King Bhekuzulu Hall at the KwaDlangezwa Campus earlier this month.

Other panelists who took part in the discussion included Shelley Bain, a board member at Izulu Orphan Projects; researcher and policy analyst Nompumelelo Runji; Zululand Observer deputy editor Ronelle Ramsay; and author and public speaker Nonhlanhla Mnisi. Prof Mazibuko also urged women staff members at UNIZULU to make use of all the opportunities available to them, saying more women should engage in academic discourse, debate, research and training to further their growth and development.

“This year several new appointments were made at UNIZULU. Women who have taken up executive posts have made great strides in their careers and hopefully will impart their knowledge, skill and experience that will help shape you.” However, she said it was also equally important that women in leadership positions get all the support they need, especially from other women.

The Vice-Chancellor also paid a tribute to Prof AC Nkabinde, the first black Vice-Chancellor who passed away on August 7. “Respect of and confidence in women defined Professor Nkabinde’s outlook on life. It is proper to acknowledge him and thank all men who support women, are mentors and partners in the development of women and the girl child.”

Also addressing the gathering, former UNIZULU student and author Nonhlanhla Mnisi told about her inspiring life of rising through poverty and adversity. She said women should always strive to make an impact wherever they are. “The moment you stop making an impact, you simply become a liability and not an asset,” she said.