The Mercury

Women urged to put their interests first

- Remember Women

also try the internatio­nal space as well, as there’s a high demand for creative artists who speak African languages.

Mdumiseni Nxumalo of the UNIZULU IKS Office applauded UNIZULU’s involvemen­t in the programme.

He said the participat­ion fulfils the University’s strategic plan of attracting internatio­nal students and being a globally competitiv­e institutio­n.

During the eight weeks spent in South Africa, the guests were also given an opportunit­y to attend a Zulu traditiona­l wedding and visit the Lilly Museum. IN CELEBRATIO­N of Women’s Month, the University of Zululand (UNIZULU) recently held the annual 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 theme, “Balance for Better”, which aims to motivate people globally 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 healthily, exercising to manage stress and to prioritise 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 led to her writing her book,”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 to 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, 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.

She emphasised that the ethos of balancing for better is good for balancing shares because it eventually creates economic opportunit­ies.

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 Professor Xoliswa Mtose for being one of the four women vice-chancellor­s among a total of 26 in the country. Dr Dlamini concluded with a poem,

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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 ??  ?? Attendees of the cultural exchange workshop participat­ing in one of the activities of the event.
Attendees of the cultural exchange workshop participat­ing in one of the activities of the event.
 ?? Dr Judy Dlamini. ??
Dr Judy Dlamini.

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