The Businesswoman #11

Date: Monday, 21st August 2017


Transformative tools for a powerful You

If you want to go fast, go alone, but if you want to go far, go together.  - African proverb

International Women's Day is celebrated globally on 8th March to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.  Did you know that the reason South Africa commemorates Women’s Day on 9th August is as a tribute to the over 20 000 women who marched to the Union Buildings on 9 August 1956 in protest against the extension of Pass Laws to women?  This is one of the landmarks of our history.

How far have women in South Africa come since 9 August 1956?

Since then, the phrase 'wathint' abafazi, wathint' imbokodo' (You Strike a Woman, You Strike a Rock) has come to represent the courage and strength of South African women.1


We stand strong, together

Women have remarkable power to affect change, particularly when we stand or work together.  It is this truth that motivates the BWA’s vision to provide "A platform for the inspiration and empowerment of women".

Gender equality and women’s empowerment

United Nations human development report, 2016 states:  If human development must reach everyone, gender equality and women’s empowerment need to be central. When women are allowed to work in a profession of their choice, when they have access to financial services and when they are protected by law from domestic violence, they are able to lead lives to their full potential. The more command women have over household income, the more they participate in the economy, the more girls are enrolled in secondary school... the larger the benefits for their families, their communities and their countries.2


The impact of businesswomen on the economy

According to a 2012 briefing report entitled Empowering the third billion: Women and the world of work in 20123, republished by PwC, it was estimated that 1 Billion women would enter the job market in the decade to follow. This report focuses on women at work, and provides compelling evidence that women can be powerful drivers of economic growth when the obstacles that hold them back are dealt with – with the top two being the ‘care economy’ (the ‘invisible’ workload we face outside of work) and equal inclusion in the workplace. It is made clear that the countries that take steps to empower women as employees and entrepreneurs will reap the social and economic benefits.  

The report placed South Africa at 36 out of 128 countries researched, among countries that are seen to be “On the path to success”.


Let’s help each other

Typically women spend less time than men at professional networking. However, advancing in one’s career without the support of a sizeable network is no easy task, and ‘flying solo’ can be lonely and limiting. Women need a place where we can nurture relationships in a way and space that feels comfortable to us, and that inspires and empowers us.  The BWA is proud to offer such a networking platform to the business women of South Africa.



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