Written by: Admin_SheEvo
Step into the world of a captivating dialogue as Mologadi Kekana sits down for an exclusive interview with Phumelela Malaza. In this engaging conversation, she uncovers insightful perspectives and delve into the extraordinary journey of Phumelela’s leadership experiences.
As a leader and activist in the fight against gender-based violence, how do you see your role breaking down historic and systematic patriarchal male favoured policies to bring about equality to address female inequality?
Historically and systematically males have always been preferred candidates for leadership roles; and policies have always favoured them in family structures, culturally and in workplaces but when it comes to GBV policies favour females more as they are the ones who are victimised often, and they are also the ones who often report their cases. Males are also victims of GBV, but they seldom report their cases due to various reasons.
Females are now offered more opportunities to serve in leadership roles in different spaces. This creates a balance because as leaders’ women now have a leadership voice too and that is a powerful tool, they can use to drive change in our society.
So as a leader and an activist in the fight against GBV I have a leadership voice which I use to educate society on various GBV related issues. I now have an equal opportunity as my male counterparts to voice my concerns and influence people’s perceptions on GBV related issues which could potentially drive or instill the required changes I would love to see in our society.
South Africa suffers a lot of social ills such as Gender Based Violence which according to the general societal view, government is struggling to tackle. What is your response to that and what do you think society is doing wrong with GBV and what is it that we can do right?
Government has the right policy framework to tackle GBV but there seems to be a disconnect between Policy, Law enforcement and Society in having to effectively deal with the challenges associated with GBV. The support structures to victims needs to be improved and how it responds to the victims and families affected by GBV. The level of service delivery in the relevant departments requires a more focused approach on having effective training to offer the needed support to victims and families. Compassion and the spirit of Ubuntu has died, society fails to report perpetrators and often we victimise those who are courageous enough to report their cases.
The fight against GBV requires every member of our society to play their part for us to get it right. We need to educate more people on GBV, ensure that victims and potential victims are educated on GBV and on how to report cases, as well as on the criminal and justice processes. Society needs to be educated on how to best support victims who gather courage to report their cases. Society also needs to be educated on how to best support law enforcement, how to report cases and ensure that perpetrators are removed from our communities.
The is a great need to educate Law enforcement and Society to best support victims who report their cases both males and females.
The judiciary needs to be educated by victims on how the criminal and justice system exposes victims(them) to secondary victimisation at all levels, so that some of their processes and laws can potentially be amended to ensure that they do not favour perpetrators so that wrongdoers are successfully removed from society and rehabilitated.
In your role as Chief Information and Communications officer for VIIA how would you influence Policy and Lawmakers on Women’s Rights?
Talk, Talk, Talk… my role as a communications officer is all about communication. It gives me the platform to engage with people including women at all levels in our society.
I will openly talk about the societal ills that are the root causes of the problems we face today that influence Women’s rights that people are uncomfortable to talk about. Women are mostly oppressed through culture, religion and obviously in the workplace so I will use various platforms to educate, address and raise awareness on those issues with relevant structures and individuals in power.
Are we doing enough to educate women and girls on their rights? What other mediums do you think we can use to increase awareness on Women and Girls Rights?
No, we are not doing enough. As much as we are educating Women on their rights, we also need to educate them on the responsibilities that come with those rights, because rights come with responsibilities and that would create a balance and would be the best way to empower women.
Empowerment should not only end in social media, internet, or the workplaces but it should start at grassroot or school level even in rural areas because as much as we are all women our situations are different and different methods can be used to ensure that every woman is empowered.
How do you think women should influence the culture on the roles that they should play or spaces they could occupy?
Women must first learn to genuinely support each other, be united and celebrate each other in the spaces they occupy.
They must grab each and every opportunity they get with both hands and excel in those roles, they must not shy away from opportunities, they must be readily available, empower themselves through education, get out of their comfort zones and not shy away from talking about the cultural issues that are a stumbling blocks and implement the required changes.
What is the most pressing Women’s issue that keeps you up at night?
Being sexually violated- Rape. Rape has somehow become a norm in society and yet not many understand the impact it has on victims and survivors. People do not understand that it is a lifetime of torment (or a life sentence) for a victim, worse when the perpetrator is a family member. Most victims find it difficult to rebuild their lives after the incident and often times they resort to suicide as life becomes too overwhelming. I encourage family members and society to educate themselves on ways to best support victims and survivors of sexual assault. Victims often struggle to find a support structure both from their families and society in general. Having a support structure makes a huge difference.
Over and above the need for shelter and food another basic need for human beings is a support structure.
How do you support the advancement of women-led social organisations and women in senior roles?
I support the advancement of women-led organisations. I hold a BA Degree where I majored in Industrial Psychology and through this competency, I want to promote their work, products and services on various platforms and offer advice, support where I can through my skills to recruit and source the right candidates for some of their roles that are available in their organisations. I do referrals for required skills and services. I learn from those in senior roles, seek advice from them, celebrate and support them where I can as well through marketing their brands and products.
Mologadi Kekana’s social media handles:
1. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/
2. IG: @realmologadi – https://www.instagram.com/
3. LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/