In keeping with Women’s Month, the Durban University of Technology’s Student Counselling and Health Centre hosted its annual Women’s Day celebration, on Wednesday August 8, 2012.
With this year’s title being Women, Power and Respect, guest speaker Ela Gandhi; a peace and political activist and granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi, spoke on Lilian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Fatima Moosa and Sophia Williams as well as their contribution to the emancipation of women.
Gandhi summed up her speech with a quote from Ngoyi’s letter to then Prime Minister, emphasising the unity of women. “We are women from every part of South Africa. We are women of every race. We come from the cities and the towns, from the reserves and the villages. We come as women united in our purpose to save the African women from the degradation of passes,” she said.
Ranilla Pillay Chairperson of the DUT Gender Forum, started her talk with the famous phrase “Wathinta abafazi wathinta imbokodo” (you strike a woman, you strike a rock), saluting the women who said enough is enough and fought for the freedom we have today.
“Women need to have the strength to hear the warning bells in relationships that are not good for them. There are so many women who have taken their lives, been murdered and abused because they did not have the strength to listen to those bells and leave before it was too late”, said Pillay.
Shedding light to the young women who attended the celebration, Pillay said it all starts with respecting one’s body “for it is Gods temple”. “Only when you respect yourself will others respect you”, she said before ending with a phrase from Maya Angelou’s poem titled Phenomenal Woman. “It’s in the arch of my back, the sun of my smile, the ride of my breasts, the grace of my style. I’m a woman, phenomenally, phenomenal woman, that’s me”, she said.
Pictured: (L-R) Nomvuyo Mbewu; DUT Senior Professional Nurse, Sihle Mbanjwa; DUT Senior Psychologist, Sibusiso Nxumalo; Public Relations Intern and Event Coordinator at the DUT Student Counselling and Health Centre, Ranilla Pillay; DUT Gender Forum Chairperson, Ela Gandhi; Peace and Political Activist and Naseem Hannif; Director: DUT Student Counselling and Health.