2023 WOMEN’S MONTH: The remarkable story of an aspiring female industrial engineer
By: Themba Nyovane – 22 August 2023
Goodness Mainjawe Sekoati, is a young ambitious lady from the village of Legolaneng, (meaning, “when are you going to expand and make many of yourselves) on the outskirts of a small town called Groblersdal in Limpopo. She joined the Vaal University of Technology (VUT) in 2018 and enrolled through an extended engineering program, a move she described as a first steppingstone to achieving her goal of becoming an industrial engineer.
Admitting that the journey was far from easy, she says she refused to back down, instead she says that hurdles unveiled her inner strength and also highlighted her vast potential.
Goodness donned her cap and gown in 2022, proudly clutching national diploma in industrial engineering. With her passion in education, she registered for Advanced Diploma in the same field, with a determination to excel. “Education holds a special place in my heart – from high school to university and beyond, I strive to excel and empower myself through learning,” she said. She is currently working as an Industrial Engineering Trainee at Defence Space Manufacturing.
In 2022 she participated in a student competition titled: ”Pollution minimization and elimination” which aimed at solving the problem of plastic bottle caps landing in our oceans and beaches, causing enormous harm to sea life, and, together with team they managed to scoop third position.
On the concept of “Building Back Better for Women’s Improved Resilience” Goodness highlights the importance of addressing gender inequality, empowering women, and ensuring their socio-economic rights in the context of recovery and resilience-building efforts. “It is often used in the context of disaster recovery and development to emphasize the need not just to rebuild what was lost, but to improve and enhance the existing systems and structures. The impression applies to address gender disparities and promoting women’s empowerment, particularly in socio economic spheres.”
She holds a strong opinion that legal reforms are crucial to ensuring that women’s rights remain protected and promoted. These, she says, include laws against gender-based violence, discrimination, and ensuring equal property and inheritance rights, also emphasising that government, civil society organizations, international agencies, and the private sector should work together to create an enabling environment for women’s empowerment. “Collaborations of comprehensive and effective strategies whilst promoting gender equality requires raising awareness about the importance of women’s rights and empowerment. Educational campaigns can challenge gender norms and stereotypes that perpetuate inequality,” she said.
Moreover, she added that, “A fulfilling career is another ambition I hold dear, one that allows me to contribute to my field, earn a livelihood, and create a positive impact. I yearn to shatter stereotypes and pave the way for more representation in industries like industrial engineering.”