UFH women celebrate women’s month

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The University of Fort Hare hosted its first ever women empowerment event to celebrate and honour the women of the university during Women’s Month. The initiative driven by Institutional Advancement seeks to appreciate the role of woman at the university and start a dialogue around issues pertaining woman at the institution. Attended by female staff, the event, themed “Hats and Heels” was held at the Alice and East London campus on August 29th and 30th, respectively. The ladies who adhered to the theme dressed to the nines in their elegant outfits. Both events were filled with laughter, music, words of encouragement and motivation from different speakers.

Delivering the keynote address at the Alice campus Ms Pumla Mncwango shared some wise words that left the women inspired. “As a woman you must fight for your identity and refuse to live under someone else’s shadow. As South African women, we have role models such as Winnie Madikizela Mandela, Lillian Ngoyi, and Hellen Suzman who fought for freedom, equality and marital power. These women were an epitome of inspiration integrity, selflessness and courage, they fought for what is bigger than their families and themselves as women we can learn from these women and uplift each other,” she said.

Mncwango told the women that in order to be successful they must explore and consistently develop their potential.

“Our country needs women who are determined to change. Women must be resilient, who refuse to be stagnant and irrelevant. Stand up and be counted as one of the women who changed lives, surround yourself with people who share your vision and people who challenge you. You must excel to a point where people hold secret meetings about you and commit yourself to excellence. Avoid negative spaces that are surrounded by gossip and choose your crowd. If something does not build you remove yourself from that situation women must arise and see their potential.”

Speaking at the East London campus leg of event, the newly appointed Deputy Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs, Professor Renuka Vithal said it was important to teach our daughters how far we have come as women to be where we are today.

“We must tell our daughters what we have sacrificed for us to get to where we are today for them to continue to fight for issues that impact them today such as unemployment, gender based violence etc. In comparison to other countries South Africa has come a long way; women have shaken off gender inequality and are earning themselves a place in the new South Africa.”

The women enjoyed themselves and were quite intrigued and captivated by the speakers and the entertainment.