(Published - 12 April 2019)
To honour the women of UWC’s Economic and Management Sciences (EMS) Faculty, Professor Michelle Esau hosted a special event to kickstart Women’s Month.
National Women’s Day is celebrated annually in South Africa on 9 August. It commemorates the 1956 march of approximately 20,000 women to the Union buildings in Pretoria to petition against the country’s pass laws. The first National Women’s Day was celebrated in 1995.
Pro Esau said: “There are many lessons we can take from the women of 1956 who bravely marched against the oppressive pass laws - like their vision and purpose, collective assistance, unification, collaboration and engagement around a common purpose. These are but some of the significant attributes we can take from the women who have gone before.”
Professor Esau said that women have a social responsibility to use their talents and experiences to the benefit of others. She said it is a privilege to be part of a sector that can make a direct contribution to the lives of many others. “The women in our faculty have the privilege of being role models to many other young women - young women preparing for the world of work in the scarce skills professions, and women who are entering the world of work where they are still in the minority,” Prof Esau said.
Guest speaker Ms Bongiwe Ntuli - Chief Financial Officer of the Foschini Group Africa, UK and Australia – said she, like many women, has had to be resilient all her life. She started school at just three-years-old and became a chartered accountant at 21. “Wake up every day with a sense of purpose...visualise what you want to achieve,” said Ms Ntuli.
She said it is also important for women to take care of themselves.
“Build positive beliefs and keep working hard. Over the years I’ve built positive beliefs in myself. As women, it is important to have a strong social network, people who support and encourage you on your journey,” she said.