‘Walk out of abu­sive re­la­tion­ships’

Sunday Express - - NEWS - Nthatuoa Koeshe

WOMEN need to have the for­ti­tude to walk out of abu­sive re­la­tion­ships as they not only af­fect them, but also im­pede them from achiev­ing their full po­ten­tial.

These were the sen­ti­ments of 2017 Fi­nite Women Ap­pre­ci­a­tion Awards guest speaker, Retha­bile Posa, in her re­marks yes­ter­day at Man­thabiseng Con­ven­tion Cen­tre.

Hosted by the BAM group of com­pa­nies, the awards honour out­stand­ing women and men in var­i­ous fields. The awards cer­e­mony is held on an an­nual ba­sis in Au­gust, a month re­garded as women’s month on the con­ti­nent.

This year, out­stand­ing women were recog­nised in 11 cat­e­gories, while men were hon­oured in five.

Dr Posa, who is a Uni­ver­sity of Cape Town lec­turer, said as a vic­tim of abuse her­self, she knew that many women of­ten suf­fered in si­lence, be­ing afraid of reprisals if they speak out.

She said many women spent many years tol­er­at­ing emo­tional abuse and be­hav­iour in the vain hope that their hus­band would change, while oth­ers stayed put for the kids.

“We as women need to know that we are stronger than we think. It takes strength and courage for a woman to walk about of a re­la­tion­ship that she has been into for years but this should not be the rea­son,” Dr Posa said.

“We need to learn to bounce back and when pushed down and be brave enough to walk out of abu­sive re­la­tion­ships.

“The topic of abu­sive re­la­tion­ships usu­ally doesn’t come up in most ca­sual con­ver­sa­tions. It’s like a dirty lit­tle se­cret that no one wants to talk about.”

BAM group of com­pa­nies’ CEO Ntšepeng Tšita said they de­cided to honour men since they also sup­ported women.

“Our coun­try has beau­ti­ful strong women who have made the coun­try proud and it is with these awards that we ap­pre­ci­ate them while at the same time ap­pre­ci­at­ing men who are sup­port­ive of these women,” Ms Tšita said.

She said the awards had 16 cat­e­gories which in­cluded most gen­der fo­cused leader, po­lit­i­cal ac­tivists, most gen­der fo­cused CEO, most gen­der fo­cused en­tre­pre­neur, women’s rights male ad­vo­cates and Le­sotho’s first in­no­va­tive im­ple­men­ta­tion

“We also in­cluded the dis­abil­ity and dis­ad­van­taged cat­e­gory, com­mu­nity builders, po­lit­i­cal ad­vo­cacy, beauty, health and well­ness cat­e­gory, in­dus­try lead­ers, en­ter­tain­ment, or­gan­i­sa­tion lead­er­ship, en­trepreneur­ship and or­gan­i­sa­tion lead­ers and me­dia,” added Ms Tšita.

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