The plight of female traditional leaders took centre stage this morning as KZN MEC for Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs (Cogta) Sipho Hlomuka convened a social dialogue webinar with female traditional leaders to address pertinent issues that affect them as leaders within the sphere of traditional leadership.
The session, which was chaired by the Deputy Chairperson of the KZN Provincial House uNdlunkulu waseMatheni, brought together female amakhosi, oNdlunkulu and iziNduna to deliberate on the challenges they are faced with as women and the solutions to be explored in resolving these challenges.
During the session, panellists who included Dr Stella Khumalo – Deputy Director-General in the national Department of Arts, Culture and Sport, shared with the audience their experiences as leaders in various spheres of government that were previously male-dominated. Dr Khumalo encouraged the female leaders to take a stand in their spheres of influence and to stand for the rights and the empowerment of women.
Advocate Samkelisiwe Hlongwane from the National Prosecuting Authority shared initiatives that have been taken by the NPA to address the scourge of gender-based violence and ensure that victims have the necessary support when they come forward to report incidents of gender-based violence.
Inkosi Molefe, who is the Deputy Chairperson of the uMgungundlovu Local House of Traditional Leaders, shared her experience of navigating unchartered waters when she became a widow at a young age after her husband Inkosi Molefe passed away. Ndlunkulu Molefe emphasised the importance of government protecting the rights of oNdlunkulu in such instances since they can become easy targets within their respective families.
The dialogue, which took place through a virtual platform, provided an opportunity for oNdlunkulu to engage one another on the challenges they face in the roles they occupy with their respective communities.