On the second last day of women’s month, the annual 702 Imbokodo event, hosted by Azania Mosaka and progressed by Audi took place at Primedia Place in Johannesburg. With a live audience and the listeners of Talk Radio 702, this special event addressed rife issues that women are facing today.

Women in the workplace

Gender-based discrimination in the workplace is experienced worldwide. In a country with laws that allow for equality to be implemented severely, there are still biased attitudes regarding women that place us in a subservient role in one way or another. Dr Judy Dlamini was Aziana Mosaka’s first formidable guest to discuss navigating the workplace as a woman.

As a qualified medical doctor with an MBA and PhD in business leadership, the author of Equal but Different, and the newly appointed chancellor of the University of the Witwatersrand, Dr Dlamini is a well of wise counsel.

From her household as a young girl, to her relationship with her husband, Dr Dlamini emphasised the importance of a sold support structure in a world fashioned by patriarchy and misogyny.

‘Dr Dlamini encouraged us to .. take care of ourselves and each other, while we continue cultivating the equality that we are deserving of’

During her ongoing journey, Dr Dlamini has learnt the necessity of being prepared for the challenges of the world, especially in the workplace. As we continue waiting for change, Dr Dlamini encouraged us to protect ourselves by concealing our emotions while we face the prejudices placed on us.

Initially confused by the suggestion to subdue the intensity of our feelings about being a woman in the workplace, I quickly understood that the point is self-preservation and longevity. She encouraged us to learn the cheat codes and take care of ourselves and each other, while we continue cultivating the equality that we are deserving of.

Gender-based violence Q&A

Personally, the headlines of murdered women and tweets about missing girls have rattled me this year. Femicide is rife worldwide, but prevalently so in this nation. However, the news coverage and social initiatives for women have been noteworthy this year. R&B Singer, Busisiwe ‘CiCi’ Thwala and Former broadcast journalist, Tracy Going, joined Azania to discuss a topic that should be never-endingly discussed: gender based violence.

‘We owe our abusers no loyalty. By making him anonymous I make him insignificant’

Both Thwala and Going are survivors of abuse at the hands of their partners. Both of their stories have been publicly accessible and just witnessing how they continue to speak their truth bravely and eloquently was breathtaking.

Thwala and Going both shared their experiences and journeyed with the audience through each question or comment. There was sense of revelation when both women addressed how they actively have to decide to reclaim their power.

‘If I silence myself, he will be left to tell my story’

Going explained why both her and Thwala do not mention their abusers by name: “I don’t mention my abuser because I feel he doesn’t deserve the honour. I feel that by making him anonymous, I make him feel insignificant. We owe our abusers no loyalty. By making him anonymous I make him insignificant.”

Thwala shared how she has to overcome the world and herself with the help of her family and by realising how much she needed to be present for herself, “there were times where I thought of taking my own life. But I thought to myself, if I silence myself, he will be left to tell my story.”

The impact of the conversations had that afternoon could be felt as the annual 702 Imbokodo came to an end. As a woman with experiences that related to both topics discussed, I am still inspired and encouraged by the lessons and personal victories of the guest on the Azania Mosaka show.

Be sure to partake next year to celebrate and be inspired by the women of South Africa!