Womxn’s Dialogue in Makhanda

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On the first of September, 2023, the first day of Women’s Month in South Africa, the Women and LGBTI+ Desk of the Unemployed Peoples Movement (UPM) (formed in 2009), organised a women’s dialogue for the women of Grahamstown, Eastern Cape. The main aim of the event was to provide a space in the movement for women, without men present. And in honour of the women who marched for justice in September 1956, the dress code was all black. The event was facilitated by Anelisa Bentele.

The dialogue opened with an ice-breaker where the women introduced themselves with their favourite colour, why they loved it, and a mention of one particular event that made them happy this year. The purpose of this introduction was to remind the women to celebrate themselves every chance they get because the hardships we go through can often make us forget the good.

The guest speaker of the day was Sibongile Jonas, Director of the Isikhalo Womxn’s Movement. Jonas motivated the women by sharing her own story as a woman in leadership.

The discussions focused on how women are not yet uhuru (“free”), what role we are to play as the generation of today, and how we can organise ourselves to follow the women of 1956.

One of the participants, Asenam Sam, said, “We learnt a lot during the workshop: that if we women unite, we can achieve many things.”

It is clear that we still have a big role to play in educating, informing and empowering our women. This event only emphasised that we should be having dialogues amongst ourselves more regularly, to politically educate ourselves and to learn from one another.

Mahlubandile Kuhlane, Chairperson of the Unemployed Peoples Movement, closed, “The main aim of this dailogue was to see our women gather and discuss issues that affect them, and have them lead their own struggles.”

This article was submitted on 05 September 2023. You may republish this article, so long as you credit the authors and Karibu! Online (www.Karibu.org.za), and do not change the text. Please include a link back to the original article.


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