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Wednesday, 12 August 2020

Empowering Young Women

EMPOWERING: The conference inspired students. EMPOWERING: The conference inspired students.

Personal and leadership development were among the objectives of the annual Young Women Empowerment conference, which was once again a great success.

Close to 60 female students from CPUT and neighbouring post-schooling institutions participated in the event which took place at the weekend and was held in a webinar format due to the coronavirus pandemic It was hosted by the HIV/Aids Unit of the Division of Student Affairs.

Melanie Marais, Head of the HIV/Aids, said the conference is aimed at developing students holistically outside the classroom in terms of leadership, health seeking behaviour, social justice and healthy lifestyle choices.

“Some questions that were raised included how we can involve students with disabilities in the peer education programme, the role of our male counterparts in addressing gender-based violence and starting your own business,” she said.

The speakers included Higher Health Regional Manager - Cape Region, Joy Oba , alumna, philanthropist and former CPUT mentor and peer educator,  Ntombozuko Bota, alumna and youth sector speaker on emotional intelligence wellness, Siyasanga Nokama, Student Affairs Dean Prem Coopoo, Central SRC President Phinda Swaartbooi and Marais.

Some of the comments about the conference posted to social media included:

“Today's conference was the best. It helped me get out of my comfort zone and I really felt empowered. Empowered to go out there and be the woman I am destined to be. All the speakers had so much to say and I am really inspired. So much was unleashed, and I am so equipped. Thank you for this webinar for it has changed my life for the better”. 

Another participant wrote: “I so wish every young girl/woman had an opportunity like this one to actually realise that they have value”.

Marais acknowledged Higher Health and the Michael & Susan Dell Foundation for generously sponsoring the event. She also thanked Peer Education Officer Dr Elma Maleka, Tumiso Mfisa and peer educators “for putting together such a successful event.”

*For the duration of Women’s Month, we will be profiling several phenomenal CPUT women whose achievements and activities help us to become One SMART CPUT. 

Written by Ilse Fredericks

Email: Frederickskennediji@cput.ac.za