Women urged to put their interests first

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Women urged to put their interests first

Women urged to put their interests first

In celebration of women’s month, the University of Zululand (UNIZULU) recently held the annual prestigious women’s day event to commemorate the 1956 women’s march but to also celebrate the progress that women have made since.

The event used the International women’s day theme, “Balance for Better”, which aims to motivate people from across the globe to collectively create a gender-balanced world.

Dr. Judy Dlamini, who is the Chancellor of Witswatersrand University and Founding Chair of the Mbekani Group, was the guest speaker.

She urged women to take care of themselves first by eating healthy, exercise to manage stress and to prioritise with the things that matter most to them.

She advised women to pursue their dreams regardless of the challenges that they face by rising above them. She spoke of the strength of women in business leadership positions who are successful despite constant gender bias –  sometimes -unconscious that women face in autocratic environments.

Dr Dlamini shared her personal experiences including   jaw-dropping truths gained while pursuing her doctoral thesis which, lead to her writing her book entitled, “Equal but Different”.

“I spoke with women from all walks of life, women in leadership, education including safety and health. The aim was to identify common leadership threads and characteristics as well as other factors such as support received from loved ones and family that contributed in successes that these women achieved. This was done in hope that other women will be able learn from these honest experiences,” she said.

From the South African Credit Report, Dr Dlamini cited that, 25% of women in decision-making roles generate 4% in higher cash-flow, half of the women in senior management roles generate 10% in higher investment and companies with at least three women as its members produce a medium gain of 10% return on equity and 37% earnings per share in comparison with a zero representation. Dr Dlamini emphasised the ethos of balancing for better is good for balancing shares because it creates economic opportunities.

Dr Dlamini advised women to create an inclusive culture by working with men in eradicating gender inequality and forced patriarchy to create a gender-balanced world.

“We cannot hope to create a world that is free of all ills of inequality, if we, women are not willing to be in the same room as men when we discuss these challenges or when we celebrate our victories. We need their support if we are to make a meaningful and impactful contribution,” she said.

Dr Dlamini applauded UNIZULU Vice –Chancellor Prof Xoliswa Mtose for being   one of four women vice-chancellors a total of 26 in the country.

Dr Dlamini concluded with a poem, “Remember Women” written by Reese Leyva to motivate UNIZULU’s community of women to continue striving against all odds and to love themselves in the process.

 

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