04 September 2019
Celebrating women of all paths of life during Women’s Month.
George Municipality Community Services Directorate celebrated last week during Women’s Month, by hosting women on from different walks of life at the George Museum with inspiring motivational speakers, a defence class by a police officer, crafts and a pampering session.
On Friday, August 30th the Gender and Disability section of the Municipality held a Women’s Day Conference for different women in the community. According to Ms Ejustley Boshoff, Coordinator of the Gender and Disability section, she invited women in the community who are already active citizens and who will easily get 20 women together to start a support group for women in their area. Once they are 20 women in the group the Municipality will assist the women with training opportunities in what they identify as a need in the group, like craft skills, needle work, administrative skills etc.
Cllr Jacqulique Von Brandis opened the event and said the change begins with each of us. She said we all cannot be creators but we can be business women. “My mother did not give me money at 16 but taught me her business. I was a regional manager of the business by age 25,” Von Brandis said. She saluted women who are already being the change they want to see.
Dr Muneera Muhamad, a local neuro psychologist and business woman was the motivational speaker of the day. She told women to complement each other, not to compete against each other. “What types of books are you reading and movies do you watch? Are soapies, like 7de Laan or comics resources that can broaden your mind?,” Dr Muhamad said.
She said our mindsets can be a prison. “Free your mind from excuses and stop being negative. Begin by looking good. If you look good, you will feel good and then self-confidence will follow. Health is not only a skinny body but it comes in different shapes. If nothing changed in your life in the past 5 years, you are not growing, you are dying,” she said. Dr Muhamad inspired women to improve themselves even if it means, to cut out sugar or to drink more water. She said when she moved to George, she was told she was the wrong colour and religion to find a job, but she used her stumbling blocks to build relationships and people’s trust. “It is about how we deal with situations,” Dr Muhamad said.
Vuyokazi Qwanyashe gave her testimony about how she survived through difficult circumstances as a child and how she has been living with HIV for more than 20 years and bounced back from life threatening illnesses. “I choose to accept my status. I’m content where I am at because it is where God wants me to be,” Qwanyashe said.
Ald Mercia Draghoender, gave her testimony about her difficult years growing up with her grandmother after her mother passed away when she was a baby. She said she started working in the community without any compensation and today she picks the fruit of her labour. She was the very first female Speaker of George and the first female Mayor of George. “Some of us are good in cooking, cleaning and raising children so why can’t you open your own creche, laundry or become a chef,” Draghoender said. She challenged women to use their skills to become independent and self-sufficient women.
Cllr Charlotte Clarke, Executive Deputy Mayor of George, said we all have our own story but we have to stand strong as women. “As long as discrimination and inequalities remain so commonplace around the world – as long as girls and women are valued less, fed less, fed last, overworked, underpaid, not schooled and subjected to violence in and out of their homes, the potential of a family life to create a peaceful, prosperous world will not be realised. “Queen Elizabeth the 1st said, I know I have the body of a weak feeble woman, but I have the heart and stomach of a king,” Cllr Clarke said.
Women’s event for women living on the street
George Municipality Social Development section held a special event for women living on the street on Thursday 29 August. Cllr Sean Snyman, Portfolio Councillor for Social Development, encouraged the women by speaking about his own life and how he survived on the streets himself.Last published 04 September 2019