VUT WOMEN’S MONTH SEMINAR: EMPOWERED WOMEN, EMPOWER WOMEN
By Nontobeko Moimane 01 September 2022
On Friday, 26 August 2022, the Vaal University of Technology hosted a women’s seminar, at the Riverside Sun Hotel, Vanderbiljpark.
The theme of the engagement was: “Empowered women, empower women”.
In her opening address, Programme Director: Mrs Kimberly Kempkes, Executive Administrator in the Office of the Deputy Vice-Chancellor: Teaching, Learning and Student Support Services (DVC- TL & SSS), said empowering means to give someone the authority or power to do something.
She added that as women, we so often put on a façade. “We wear a mask to suit the role we need to fulfil in a certain situation, be it as a mother, daughter, wife, or grandmother. We hide behind a mask, choosing who we allow to see the real ‘woman’. It is only when we can remove the mask and truly accept who we are without prejudice or fear that uplifting ourselves gives us the ability to empower other women”, she said.
Professor Maggi Linington DVC – TL & SSS extended a warm welcome to the participants, emphasizing that women need to be given the space and qualities to grow. ”We are different, but we are equal,” she said.
The Keynote Speaker was Ms Busisiwe Ramabodu, Executive Director: Human Resources. A believer in woman empowerment, Ramabodu said women need to be empowered and respected. She further stated that society has been conditioned to say women are strong and there must be a limit to what women can endure.
“I believe women should be respected. Empowerment is a product of recognition of women as equal beings and plays an important role in society,” she alluded.
According to her, emotional intelligence is essential for women as it impacts their well-being.
Ramabodu based her address on fear. She advised women to learn from everyone. “Fear can be a hindering emotion towards your success. In most of our journeys in life, we will be confronted with fears, but that’s how you grow. You don’t grow if you don’t face those fears. So, let us grow and focus”.
“Facing our fears means we are acknowledging our fear. It has been said that courage is not the absence of fear, but the presence of fear whilst still able to proceed and forge ahead. You must fear your internal voice because it is very dangerous,” she advised.
In closing, Ramabodu asked women to go back and ask themselves the following question?
- What are your fears that you feel are standing in your way, and what will you do?
- What are your generational gifts, and are you embracing them?
In addition to VUT women, participants enjoyed the presence of both internal and external guests who also shared some words of wisdom:
- Ms Gloria Mzimba – Old Mutual Financial Services presented on financial segments and the importance of saving money.
- Ms Dimakatso Dhlamini: Principal Attorney at the VUT Law Clinic, presented on marriage contracts and implications.
- Ms Smarty Mzila: Physical Therapist at VUT Science Park, presented the importance of self-care and the products they use at Science Park.
- Ms Mabel Ledwaba: CEO Havillah Beauty presented her products and her company’s growth journey.
The highlight of the day was a message of support delivered by Vice-Chancellor and Principal: Professor Dan Kgwadi, who said VUT women are the institution’s backbone. “They carry VUT on their shoulders,” said the VC.
Ms Kediemetse Mokotsi, Acting Executive Director: Advancement facilitated a Q+A session which ended with networking and friend-making session.