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[Standard Bank Top Women Conference] Standing together for liberation

“The power of women is that if you empower one, others will follow. If we work together, we will rise and lift others with us. This is the responsibility that the 20,000 women who marched to the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956 gave us.”
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These are the inspiring words of Stella Tembisa Ndabeni-Abrahams, deputy minister of the Department of Telecommunications and Postal Services in her keynote address to delegates of the Standard Bank Top Women conference that took place at Emperors Palace in Gauteng.

“Women need to mentor and groom each other if they are serious about liberating themselves and others. Our grandmothers brought together 20,000 women without the use of social media, so imagine what we could be capable of. But only if we work together. We are the only ones who can make it happen.”

Our nation has overcome many challenges, but despite great initiatives and policies developed and adopted by government including a progressive Constitution as well as initiatives by the private sector, we are still having conversations about the liberation of women, she told the audience.


“Women still battle to balance home and work. In the workplace women are still not paid the same as men, despite doing the same work. In South Africa, the creation of a ministry for women has proved to be ineffective. Policies and initiatives look progressive on paper, but in reality have made no progress.”

This is why women need to work together. “Women need to be empowered economically but we will never achieve this if we are pulling each other down and continuing to work in silos It is only when we work together that we will achieve our goal.”

She identifies the Fourth Revolution as an opportunity for women to achieve liberation, but she says, again it is up to us to identify gaps that will allow us to be leaders of the revolution and not left behind. “It is only when we achieve this that was will make South Africa’s and Africa’s women economically independent.”

About Danette Breitenbach

Danette Breitenbach is a marketing & media editor at Bizcommunity.com. Previously she freelanced in the marketing and media sector, including for Bizcommunity. She was editor and publisher of AdVantage, the publication that served the marketing, media and advertising industry in southern Africa. She has worked extensively in print media, mainly B2B. She has a Masters in Financial Journalism from Wits.

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