Women urged to empower each other

Women enjoying the Womens Month event at the Phakama community health project hall.

The Phakama Community Health Project and Ilitha Labantu, both NGOs, wrapped up Women’s Month in style by hosting a lunch for the women of KTC on Thursday August 31.

The event was aimed at motivating the women and making them feel special.

Women were encouraged to work together, not look down on each other and to continue to be pillars of their community. Speakers praised the women for their role in society.

Mabatho Tileng, director of Phakama Community Health Project, said the day was about caring and supporting each other.

She said women deserved to feel special and loved.

“Women deserve to be treated with respect, not only in Women’s Month, but 365 days of the year. We should not celebrate women only in August but on a daily basis. These are rocks and pillars of dilapidated homes. We care for everyone in the society,” she told Vukani.

Nobesuthu Siko, from Ilitha Labantu’s education and outreach department, said the organisation was established in 2003 to help women facing domestic violence.

She said the founder was a victim of domestic violence.“After the ordeal she decided to form Ilitha to help other women who might be in the same predicament.

“So please let us use such organisations to empower ourselves with knowledge. Let us report all the abuses at our homes. Let us not sit on bad things with the hope that they will eventually change.

“Like the 1956 women who stood in front of (apartheid prime minister JG) Strydom to say enough is enough, let us do the same against domestic violence and women and child abuse,” she told them.

Ms Siko urged women not to allow themselves to be used as punching bags by the men in their lives. She encouraged them to immediately get out of abusive relationships, as they were irreparable.

The women were also educated about health matters and their rights at the clinics by Sister Phezisa Ngqamakwe. She said as old as some of the women were, they still had to visit clinics to check their blood pressure, HIV status, and to have Pap smears done.

She also urged women to always report ill treatment at the health facilities and to commend the good work too. The event ended with joyous singing and dancing.