By Matlaba Machethe

  • In commemoration of International Women’s Day, the Gauteng Department of Social Development took proactive steps towards women’s empowerment, hosting information sessions and self-defence classes at Umnotho House in Johannesburg.
  • The event served as a platform to educate attendees on investments, financial management, sexual harassment policies, and victim empowerment programs, while also raising awareness about LGBTIQA+LGBQI issues and engaging with supporting organisations.
  • Department officials emphasised the importance of investing in women, highlighting how such investments not only unlock individual potential but also contribute to the overall prosperity and equity of society. Additionally, attendees received guidance on dealing with sexual harassment and safeguarding mental health in the workplace.

The Gauteng Department of Social Development has adopted a proactive stance toward women’s empowerment within the organisation. This was announced as the world marked International Women’s Day. The department hosted information sharing and a self-defence class at Umnotho House in the Johannesburg Central Business District.

The event was used as a platform to give information on investments, financial management, sexual harassment policies, and victim empowerment programs to raise awareness about LGBTIQA+LGBQI and engage with organisations that support women. 

The Gauteng Department of Social Development Human Resources official, Jacqui Madima, said, “As we set out on this journey, let’s not forget that investing in women is not only wise but also essential to accelerating the opportunities available to them. By investing in women, we not only unlock their potential but also unlock the potential of the community. We have the opportunity and responsibility to harness this potential and create a more equitable and prosperous world for everyone.”

Speaking at the same event, the Department’s Wellness Official, Lood Hanekom, provided attendees with ways to deal with sexual harassment and how to protect someone’s mental health if they have been the victim of sexual harassment at work. 

Through collaborative efforts with non-profit organisations, community leaders, and stakeholders, the Gauteng Department of Social Development continues to champion women’s empowerment initiatives that create tangible impact and foster a more equitable society.

International Women’s Day (IWD) is celebrated annually as a focal point in the women’s rights movement. It gives focus to issues of gender disparities, reproductive rights, and violence and abuse against women. Gloria Stein, a world-renowned feminist and journalist, once said: “The story of women’s struggle for equality belongs to no single feminist nor any one organisation but to the collective efforts of all who care about human rights.”


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