Every year in August, our country commemorates Women’s Month to pay tribute to the women who marched to the Union Buildings in 1956 to protest against the extension of Pass Laws.
In efforts to empower young girls and celebrate Women’s month, Women Leaders South Africa (WLSA) and Child Welfare Tshwane (CWT) collaborated with Masego’s Sanitary Pad Drive and Mr Monday Eatery to host a rise up empowerment breakfast to 18 Girls Empowered Project Beneficiaries. The purpose of the breakfast was to motivate them to dream without gender limitations and give them the platform to open up about their daily challenges and the surge in teenage pregnancy
Mr Monday Eatery prepared a mouth-watering English breakfast and facilitated table etiquette training. The training included the proper use of cutlery and practising good table manners.
Masego’s Sanitary Pad Drive donated 9 boxes of 48 packs of sanitary pads from a woman owned company called Dear Bella Sanitary Pads. The pads are available at selected Dischem Stores. The beneficiaries will have a constant supply of sanitary pads for the remainder of this year.
Following the breakfast and motivational talks by guest speakers, we hosted a round table to discuss the increase in teenage pregnancy in our society. The beneficiaries mentioned abuse as one of the key reasons for the surge, stating that abusive partners force themselves on them and pressure them into having sex. Another perspective raised is Parents/Guardians who avoid ‘sex talk’ because they find it uncomfortable to have such conversations – teenagers then start knowing about sex through friends, social media, TV which often can lead to misleading information. The social workers contributed to the topic by leading the conversation on teenage pregnancy preventative measures such as the use of contraceptives, condoms, or abstaining from sexual intercourse. In addition, seeking emotional support from social workers.
The rise-up empowerment breakfast was a first but certainly a success and a great platform to interact, share experiences and learn from each other. WLSA and CWT plan to host more of these initiatives to empower the next generation of community leaders.