A miniseries depicting the story of Hasidic women’s fight in her escape from her community.
Parktown Girls High School head girl Neha Prag stole the show with her speech which received two rounds of applause at Wits’ Student Representative Council’s (SRC’s) women’s luncheon on Saturday, August 26.
Prag encouraged sisterhood and explained that young people’s quest for transformation should not always be viewed in a negative way.
Her speech set the tone for a panel discussion that included singer and former Witsie, Simphiwe Dana, actress and former Wits lecturer Kgomotso Christopher, leadership and organisational development consultant Dr Zukiswa Mthimunye and director of the Wits Transformation Office, Lindiwe Manyika.
Prag also said that the interest of the youth lies in transformation and questioning the system. “Just because the youth are interrogating the system, does not mean that youth and the system cannot coexist. And just because the methods of interrogation differ, does not mean that neither party does not want a better society,” she said.
She further added that the gradient of “wokeness”- which refers to being aware of oppression in society and challenging the status quo – should be less commodified and less exclusive. “We should be calling people into these conversations instead of calling them out.”
Panellist Mthimunye emphasized this point during the discussion. She said that it is important to invite men and boys into the conversation because, though it alerts them to their wrongdoing, calling them out is not a solution.
Christopher said it is good to have such dialogues but, “There needs to be a point where we move beyond talking. It’s time that conversations become actions in domestic spaces, at work and even in the jokes that we laugh at.”
Prag used two Indian feminist movements to show that women can lead in different ways: one gentle and lady-like as depicted in the movie Lipstick or aggressive and confrontational like the Gulabi Gang. (See video)
Prag said that women can lead as they please, whether aggressive or gentle. Dana agreed, saying that while women are fighting patriarchy, they need to invest in self-care as well. “Be strict about the ideas that you allow to populate your space, practise self-care, know that you are enough, your dreams are valid and don’t become confrontational. It’s okay to pursue your dreams quietly,” she said.
Prag encouraged women to build and maintain a sisterhood that is courageous and stands up for one another regardless of what leadership style they choose to condemn patriarchy with.
— WITS SRC (@WitsSRC) August 26, 2017
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One of Johannesburg’s poshest hotels played host to a bevy of beautiful women who were attending the second annual Womentality Workshop yesterday.
The workshop, aimed at empowering young women, and is the brainchild of former Miss South Africa Melinda Bam and 2008 runner-up, Anja van Zyl, took place all through the day at the Maslow in Sandton. The aim of the former beauty queens is to help women embrace their inner femininity and be fearless and proud.
“Womentality workshops touch on several aspects of the female form and mind, to help you refine your femininity.”
“Being feminine means embracing different facets, acquiring new skills to be able to adapt to life’s changes and to realise that being a woman is the biggest blessing of all,” said Bam.
A self-confessed tomboy, she said that there is a lot for women, even the tomboys, to take away from the workshops which focus on a mind-set shift.
“There is a bit of femininity in every single woman that she should embrace, it is not just about what you look like, it is how all of that translates into how you feel about yourself every day,” she said.
“We want to create a movement, we are going to go to each province, and yes we want to have them regularly,” said Van Zyl about the future of the workshops.