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It's still a 'dog-eat-dog world' out there - women leaders lament the persistent gender gap

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University of Cape Town vice-chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng.
University of Cape Town vice-chancellor Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng.
Esa Alexander, Gallo Images, Sunday Times

Women constitute the majority of people who have lost their income during the lockdown, the ones left to juggle full-time employment with unpaid care work and are increasingly fleeing from violence in their homes or worst yet, unable to run. This ticking time bomb of women disempowerment is about to explode.

According to some of the women in powerful positions in the country, including former public protector, Thuli Madonsela and the Vice Chancellor of UCT, Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng, it can no longer be tolerated that women have to be a modified version of themselves to climb corporate ladders, be accepted by society and avoid harm.

During a discussion hosted by the Advancement of Black Accountants of Southern Africa (ABASA) on empowerment and equality, Phakeng said after doing everything by the book, the promise that hard work would pay off does not materialise for many black women.

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