GDE encourages girl learners to invest in education and use it as a tool to protect and empower themselves.
Scores of girl learners from around schools in Soweto were encouraged, empowered and motivated to reflect on their daily challenges and focus on finding lasting solutions during the 2017 Women’s Month Launch at Aurora Girls High School , Soweto this week.
South Africa commemorates Women’s Month in August as a tribute to the thousands of women who marched to the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956 in protest against the extension of the notorious Pass Laws which restricted the movement of African people..
This historic march was a turning point in the role of women in the struggle for freedom.. Since that eventful day, women from all walks of life became equal partners in the struggle for a non-racial and non-sexist South Africa.
The theme for this year is “Invest in a girl child and empower a young women campaign”.
At the event, girl learners had an opportunity to exchange ideas with Premier David Makhura on a variety of topics . Some of the challenges that they alluded to includes:
· Teenage pregnancy
· Hair controversies.
· The easy accessibility of liquor and drugs.
· Sexual abuse and homosexuality.
Speaking at the event, Premier Makhura touched on the historical importance of the Women’s Month and the progress that has been registered thus far.
“We celebrate the heroines of yesteryear. Through their efforts, women can now own houses and hold positions in business and the society at large. This is a remarkable achievement – let us acknowledge those who made it possible,” Premier Makhura said.
He further emphasised the importance of education for both girl and boy learners. As a way of alleviating some of the challenges that learners endures daily Premier Makhura declared that the government will provide free sanitary pads at schools for learners from disadvantaged communities and 50% of the bursaries will be allocated to them.
“We are doing this to ensure that we equip learners with skills so that they can be globally competitive and participate meaningfully in the economy,” stated Premier Makhura, He further alerted educators not to discriminate against learners from the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans and/or Intersex (LGBTI) community
Nqobile Mkhwanazi and Thubelihle Mchunukelwa from Pace Community College cautioned against the disempowerment of boys.
“An event of this nature must also be done for boys so that they are not left behind,” says the pair from Zola.
Several celebrities and community leaders attended the event.