Young Women’s Network: full circle in celebration of Woman’s Month

Belinda Bantham -- Wed, 08/02/2017 - 15:02

Young Women’s Network: full circle in celebration of Woman’s Month

Did you know that women represent more than half of the 1,2 billion African population? Even more interesting is the fact that more than 50% of these women are under 25 years of age. Young women therefore represent the potential to rewrite the future of the continent.

A powerful realisation, indeed.

In light of this and the fact that August is National Women’s Month, the Student Life Directorate on the North-West University’s (NWU’s) campus in Vanderbijlpark – together with several other support departments (such as the Alumni Office) and sponsors – will be hosting its first Young Women’s Network. The theme for the networking forum, which will take place on 9 August 2017, is: ‘I am every woman.’

During the course of the event more than 150 young female student leaders will have the opportunity to engage with several high-profile speakers – representing leaders in business, academia and governance. According to Charmaine Mahopo, the event coordinator, the aim of the event is to complete a full circle of empowerment, namely to empower young women through life lessons and guidance from reputable role models and to also allow the students to give back to the community by means of several charity drives.

One of the keynote speakers, Tebello Hazel Nkoli, is a proud alumna of the campus in Vanderbijlpark and is currently practicing as a people services specialist in Africa and the Middle East at Sage South Africa. Tebello will speak to the challenges faced by women in the South African workplace. Other topics that will be discussed include emotional intelligence, financial independency, emotional and physical wellbeing and academic excellence.

Not only receiving, but also giving back

“It is my belief that the empowerment of young women should continue beyond the scope of National Women’s Month. It should be a priority in our daily lives as a community, and not just an August topic,” says Charmaine. She explains that all invited guests have been asked to donate sanitary products as part of their entrance “fee”. These sanitary products will be distributed to female students on campus.

Another initiative will see participating young women donate evening gowns and matric farewell dresses in preparation of the upcoming matric farewell season. “Every girl dreams of looking like a princess at her matric farewell, and as young women we know that glitzy outfits come with a big price tag. It would therefore be a privilege to help realise a girl’s dream by providing her with a dress and the necessary accessories,” explains Charmaine and adds that by doing this the young student leaders learn the value and worth of paying it forward.