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Unifying to look after kids and women

By unknown | Aug 13, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

PROFESSIONAL women have come together in a movement that will act as a watchdog to safeguard all women and children.

PROFESSIONAL women have come together in a movement that will act as a watchdog to safeguard all women and children.

Called the Advancement for the Status of Women (ASW) the movement will provide a platform for established and emerging women leaders from various sectors to deliberate on issues affecting women and children.

The movement is the brainchild of Sibongile Mkhabela, chief executive of the Nelson Mandela Children's Fund.

Speaking at the launch at the Blue Valley Golf Club in Midrand, Gauteng, Scholastica Kirmayo, an international development cooperate specialist and ASW's convener, said women want to effect change within their societies that will affirm the humanity, dignity, equality and liberation of women and children.

Urging women to be "true advocates," Kirmayo, who has worked for the United Nations for the past 31 years, said ASW's success was dependent on the commitment and skills of participants.

She said though women were in the majority, their voices were still not being heard, especially not in critical areas such as policy making. She said the movement would assist women "to achieve equality and effect change in their existing roles, thereby challenging women's subordinate position.

"We deal with issues of women and children because we are passionate. Without passion and compassion, no change will happen," Kirmayo said.

Other areas of work will be to ensure that children and youth development issues are prioritised.

She said the movement will also analyse economic, social and legal policies governing women and children and examine the use of language with the aim of promoting a language that accentuates a positive world outlook.

The movement is supported by, among others, singers Sibongile Khumalo, Yvonne Chaka Chaka, Letta Mbuluand Simphiwe Dana. Also by gender activists Ruwayida Halim, Hlawu Mkhabela, Fung Rakoena and entrepreneurs Busi Mabuza, Palesa Mazamisa and Mmabatho Seeiso.


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