Womanity - Women in Unity

CHANNEL AFRICA  |  Podcast , ±39 min episodes every 6 days  | 
"Womanity - Women in Unity" is a weekly programme produced by Dr Amaleya Goneos- Malka. The programme celebrates prominent and ordinary African women's achievements towards self-emancipation, human rights, and democracy. It also deals with social ills, such as, racism, socio-economic class division, and gender based violence.

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Ambassador of Tunisia – Narjes Dridi

This week we talk to the Ambassador of Tunisia to South Africa - Narjes Dridi. We discuss the challenges as well as achievements that Tunisian women have experienced in their journey to empowerment, tracing back to the first queen of Carthage (ancient Tunisia), circa 800BC. Ambassador Dridi emphasises the paradigm shift of 1956 which led to a modernisation of culture in Tunisia with the introduction of Acts for the emancipation and empowerment of women. This legislation gave women the right to divorce, to vote, to receive an education, to work, abolished polygamy, raised the legal age of marriage to 18 etc… As a result of this enabling legislation, today women in Tunisia account for 34% of parliament, 43% of judges, 40% of doctors and 50% of pharmacists. Importantly this type of legislation cannot be allowed to regress, and further progress must allow for the protection of the gains women have made and the advancements to come, for an empowered women is also an empowered man. Tune in for more…

Ambassador of Mexico – Ana Luisa Fajer

This week we talk to the Ambassador of Mexico to South Africa - Ana Luisa Fajer. We discuss some of the milestones in her three decade career as a diplomat with a special interest in Africa that began during her tertiary studies. We consider the impact that gender parity legislation in political parties had in Mexico’s 2018 general elections, after its introduction just four years earlier. We discuss women’s participation in the labour force, remarking on prevailing inequalities experienced by women, which impacts on their earnings, types of roles and advancing up their respective career ladders. We remark on the role of education as a tool of empowerment for women, not only in the formal sense but also informally on the home-front to readdress social and culture perspectives of women to advocate for gender equality. Tune in for more…

Professor Maryna Steyn – Head of School: Anatomical Sciences WITS University

This week we talk to Professor Maryna Steyn – Head of School: Anatomical Sciences Faculty of Health Sciences WITS University. We discuss her work in forensic anthropology, which primarily involves the analysis of human remains and identification of individuals. We reflect on some of her notable cases and the applications of technology to advance the discipline. For example, progression in craniofacial recognition techniques investigated the identity of Mbuyisa Makhubu vs Victor Vinnetou; developing criteria for ageing applications in living people to determine if they are over or under the age of 18, has had significant implications in the judicial system as well as migration and refugee status. We recall her studies of skeletal remains from Mapungubwe, a 1000 year-old archaeological site in Limpopo. We note the rising feminisation of the medical students and emphasise the importance of building a talent pipeline of women to feed into leadership posts. Tune in for more…

Vice Chancellor University of Cape Town – Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng

This week we talk to the incoming Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cape Town - Professor Mamokgethi Phakeng. We discuss some of her strategic plans for the university when she assumes office, particularly in the areas of transformation and the university’s role in Africa to deepen its links with the continent. We discuss some of the barriers hindering women’s advancement in leadership, such as being judged against a different set of criteria in comparison to men, and competing under circumstances where the goalposts keep shifting. We underscore the need to change limiting perspectives around academic subjects like mathematics and science and instead emphasise the usefulness if these disciplines in society to encourage people to study these fields, which have a profound impact on the world. Prof. Phakeng shares details about the adopt-a-learner foundation that she established to help students from townships and rural areas to attain tertiary education. Tune in for more…

Deputy Minister Telecommunications & Postal Services – Stella Ndabeni Abrahams

This week we talk to South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Telecommunications & Postal Services Ms Stella Tembisa Ndabeni-Abrahams. She previously served as the Deputy Minister of the Department of Communications from 2014 to 2017. She has been a member of several portfolio committees including Communication and Defence, and has been a member of parliament since 2009. She discusses some of the developments she has undertaken in her portfolio to improve Internet connectivity and device accessibility in rural schools; empowerment initiatives to encourage women to pursue careers in ICT; and the 2019-2030 plans to build an army for South Africa to thrive in the 4th Industrial Revolution. We discuss the role of education and networking as important tools to advance women. The Deputy Minister shares her personal journal from humble beginnings to managing a vital portfolio that will form a critical part of the country’s future economy, forms Tune in for more….

Principal dancer of the Joburg Ballet - Nicole Ferreira-Dill

This week we talk to Nicole Ferreira-Dill, principal dancer of the Joburg Ballet. She shares insights into this classical art-form through her personal experiences and journey to the pinnacle of her career. We discuss the dynamics of training to perfect performances, collaborating with a company comprising of dancers from different countries and cultures (South Africa, Australia, Cuba, Brazil etc…), channelling different energies onto the stage, developing mental stamina and physical strength. We recognise that ballet is a predominantly female profession, with ballerinas taking the lead role in performances, which contrasts to other mixed gender occupations, where men typically occupy the principal role. We discuss the importance of support structures during challenging periods and celebrating successes in pursuit of one’s dreams. Tune in for more….

Professor Helen Rees – Founder and Executive Director of the Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute

This week we talk to Professor Helen Rees – Founder and Executive Director of the Wits Reproductive Health and HIV Institute of the University of Witwatersrand. The institute’s core focal areas encompass HIV, sexual and reproductive health and vaccine preventable diseases. Prof. Rees highlights some of the developments in the vaccination of pregnant women to transfer immunity to their babies, as well as new HIV prevention technologies such as the use of anti-retroviral drugs to prevent HIV. Prof. Rees remarks on some of the awards that she has received in recognition for her contribution to national health policy and global health. Prof. Rees reflects on aspects of South Africa’s transformation noting some of the challenges she experienced in a mixed race marriage in the struggle against Apartheid. On issues of women’s advancement she notes there should be a more concerted effort towards establishing global and national movements to ensure that women’s voices are heard, that their issues are addressed, and their presence in leadership grows. Tune in for more….

Dr. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka – United Nations Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director of UN Women

This week we talk to Dr. Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka about UN Women’s activities in five priority areas to advance gender equality, which include increasing women’s leadership and participation; ending violence against women; engaging women in peace and security processes; enhancing women’s economic empowerment; and making gender equality an essential part of national development planning and budgeting. Dr. Mlambo-Ngcuka, draws attention to campaigns such as HeforShe which encourages constructive masculinity for men to stand up for women, as well as Impact 10x10x10 where heads of state champion a gender issue of their choice, for instance the President of Malawi is focussing on child marriage; ultimately these campaigns seek to get men to take responsibility in the fight against gender inequality. We mention the role of technology as a game changer in the innovation stakes, but remark that efforts must be undertaken to ensure equal access to prevent a digital divide. Dr. Mlambo-Ngcuka also shares some highlights of her address for the 9th Thabo Mbeki Africa Day lecture on gender equality and women empowerment. Tune in for more….

Dr. Tomoko Kitagawa – Embassy of Japan – “The Lady Samurai”

This week we talk to Dr. Tomoko Kitagawa who is visiting South Africa with a lecture series called “The Lady Samurai”, The Role of Women in the Diplomacy during the Unification of Japan. We discuss the application of Dr Kitagawa’s work for women in contemporary society recognising the contribution of their consultative and diplomacy skills in peacemaking and negotiating. We consider economic empowerment of women noting that women must be given the space to work and realise their full potential. Dr Kitagawa remarks that household economics need a makeover, where traditionally unpaid work, such as child rearing and home cleaning, becomes paid work, and thus creates economic opportunity. Education has taken Dr Kitagawa around the world; we emphasise education as a key enabler for women’s development and contend that it should be incorporated into every women’s schedule, even if this means embarking on part-time learning to balance multiple commitments, in order to acquire essential knowledge and new skills.

Head of the School of Therapeutic Sciences at WITS University: Professor Judith Bruce

This week we talk to Professor Judith Bruce who is the Head of the School of Therapeutic Sciences at WITS University about some of the complexities of managing the many different disciplines clustered under the School of Therapeutic Sciences in such a way they maintain their individual identities. We discuss literacy as a vital tool in people’s lives for earning potential and highlight the importance of a conducive environment for girls to excel in their learning paths. Prof. Bruce remarks on the influence that female leaders have on the career aspirations of women, but the number of women in leadership roles is far below critical mass. The intersection of patriarchy, poverty, gender are often impediments to women rising into leadership roles. However, today’s female leaders cannot passively wait for things to change, they have to develop self-reliance and agency to make things happen for themselves and in the process take other women forward with them. Tune in for more….

Director Laser Research Centre University of Johannesburg: Professor Heidi Abrahamse

This week we talk to Professor Heidi Abrahamse who is the Director of the Laser Research Centre, Faculty of Health Sciences at the University of Johannesburg and holds the DST/NRF SARChI Chair for Laser Applications in Health. Professor Abrahamse is leading efforts to investigate the field of phototherapy with specific emphasis on Low Intensity Laser Irradiation (LILI) or Photobiomodulation (PBM), Photodynamic Therapy (PDT), Phyto-Photodynamic Therapy (P-PDT) and Stem Cell Therapy. We discuss some of the applications of laser therapy to treat cancer tumours, pain relief and wound healing (particularly in diabetes) and its growing role in clinical practice. We reflect on the positive outcome that transformation efforts have had on the opportunity space for women, allowing them to develop and achieve on an equal footing to men across the spectrum. We note the importance of mentors and role models to aid the development of women in their career paths. Tune in for more….

Ambassador of Senegal: Safiatou Ndiaye

This week we talk to Ms Safiatou Ndiaye, the Ambassador of Senegal to South Africa and 10 other countries in southern Africa about women in politics. We discuss some of the traits women need to develop, such as resilience, courage, strength of character and self-confidence, to endure the challenges of politics. We acknowledge that gender power dynamic discrepancies still prevail within political parties, which can sometimes make it difficult for people to accept female leaders. We remark on the ability of politics to effect positive change, noting for example in Senegal that now: gender parity has been attained in parliament; women and men pay the same tax rates; and women have the right to pass their nationality on to their children. We reflect on the roles of female leaders and the need to continue their legacy into the future to keep striving for the betterment of society.

221 episodes

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