Knowledge makes strong women

2017-03-28 06:03
Lucinda Evans, founder of the Philisa Abafazi Bethu women and children’s project in Lavender Hill, with women leaders from Ashton, Worcester and Bonnyvale.

Lucinda Evans, founder of the Philisa Abafazi Bethu women and children’s project in Lavender Hill, with women leaders from Ashton, Worcester and Bonnyvale.

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Women’s organisations hosted a “Women’s rights are human rights” event at Retreat Civic Centre last Tuesday.

The Philisa Abafazi Bethu women and children’s project in Lavender Hill partnered with Her Voice Women Leaders Network and 1 Billion Rising, as well as the provincial government and the speaker of provincial parliament Sharna Fernandez.

Officials of the provincial government provided information about the Constitution to 160 women from Mitchell’s Plain, Hanover Park, Lavender Hill, Retreat, Hillview, Ashton and Worcester with student volunteers of the Chrysalis Academy.

Lucinda Evans, founder of the Philisa Abafazi Bethu women and children’s project, launched the Her Voice Women Leaders Network and the 1 Billion Rising Cape Flats campaign “in solidarity against the exploitation of women”. Women gave testimonies of victory over abuse, domestic violence, drugs, poverty and other social ills prevalent in local communities.

“The aim of the meeting was to provide information to women leaders on how they are able to make their services more accessible and for their beneficiaries – women and men – to know their rights,” says Evans.

Glorya van Niekerk from Heathfield, who attended the event, says it was an honour for her to speak to other women. “My topic is: Let your past make you better, not bitter. Domestic violence affects one in four women in South Africa alone. Abusers are thought of as out of control and even insane; the reality is often much different. These individuals are usually well liked and respected in their everyday lives and their violent actions are often calculated, sometimes planning out conflicts to gain control over their partner,” she says. “Know when it’s time to leave. Knowing your level of abuse is the first step to freedom. Speak to a trusted friend, colleague or your local pastor, imam or rabbi. We do not have to live in silence and fear of abuse. Tap into various networks that help women who are being abused.

“As women we are strong beings. Don’t allow anyone to abuse you in any form or way. They say when you strike a woman, you strike a rock. As women we have to take back our power and say ‘No’ to abuse,” adds Van Niekerk.

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