The first official conference of wives of traditional leaders in the North West province was held at Mmabatho Convention Centre yesterday.
The Premier of North West, Edna Molewa, said the aim of the conference was to bring the Bahumagadi, or traditional leaders' wives, to the fore so that they can play a major role in the economy.
Molew said: "There is something wrong in our society.
"In nearly every house I visit in the rural areas, young children have children.
"That is why we have turned to the traditional authority to lend a helping hand."
Semane Molotlegi, of the house of Bafokeng in Rustenburg, applauded the premier on her initiative.
She said the Bafokeng had played their role and it now only needed to be formalised.
Mirriam Nkosi, the inkosikati, or the wife of the king, from Mpumalanga, told the delegates that a real woman leader did not put herself first.
She said a real woman leader puts others first. She swallows her pride or she will be swallowed up, she said.
"When you are a leader, a lot of people look up to you as a role model.
"You are expected to encourage them to reach their potential and help the children, the community and friends to achieve a better life," said Nkosi.