Unisa yesterday bestowed Women of the Year awards during the Feroza Adam Memorial Lecture in celebration of Women’s Month.
JUST as a potjie cannot stand without one of its three legs, so too must future African women leaders stand firm with three crucial pillars in place.

This was the knowledge that women at the Feroza Adam Memorial Lecture yesterday imparted to each other on how to uplift and build future women leaders all over Africa.

The event culminated with women from Unisa receiving certificates for lending a helping hand and supporting their communities and fellow colleagues in the workplace.

Refilwe Machete, who delivered the lecture in honour of Adam, a political activist and ANC publicist, said women leaders needed to be at the forefront of developing girls and boys. The lecture was hosted at Unisa yesterday.

Machete said this was at the very core of Adam’s mission in working to uplift her community before her untimely death on August 9, 1994.

Machete cited Rwanda’s successful transition from the atrocities of the 1994 genocide to being one of the top African countries in gender upliftment initiatives.

Rwanda was now one of the cleanest countries in Africa and its legislature had an impressive 60% representation of women, she said.

“Those women leaders are ensuring gender responsiveness, and that funds are channelled to address gender-based violence.”

Speaking on the knowledge she had acquired, Machete said women leaders needed to be like the three-legged pot.

The first pillar or leg was to focus on ensuring quality education was brought to the girl child. Nelson Mandela had noted how young people should take up the highest level of education to better represent women to the world.

Machete then briefly paused, saying she had erred in looking for inspiration by not taking note of notable women such as Albertina Sisulu.

“I have to say that I too am guilty of not thinking of great stalwarts such as Mama Albertina Sisulu first when addressing you, which shows how we need to start celebrating ourselves first,” she added.

The second leg was for self- development, as once one knew and mastered oneself, one could tackle anything. And the last leg was for community development.

“We need to uplift communities in our country and share knowledge among other African countries on what they are doing right."