Leading Gender Equity

By: Lwazi Nongauza

‘’All of us must take this on board, that the objectives of our country will not have been realized unless we see in visible and practical terms that the condition of the women of our country has radically changed for the better and that they have been empowered to intervene in all aspects of life as equals with any other members of society”.

That famous Nelson Mandela quote best describes the resolute nature of the Northern Cape based social change driver, Dineo Segopiso.

The ACTIVATE! Change Drivers alumni has dedicated her time and resources to leading a number of gender equity awareness campaigns in the form of webinars, hackathons, dialogues and protests throughout Upington.

“Freedom cannot be achieved unless women have been emancipated from all forms of oppression” said Segopisho as she outline some of her programs in an exclusive interview with ACTIVATE! Change Drivers.

‘’What I am doing can be emotionally draining sometimes, but someone has to do it if we all would like to be in a society that provides a conducive environment for vulnerable citizens like women to equally live their lives in a femicide free environment. Politicians, businesses and government will not suddenly wake up one day and decide to make their desired way of life a reality. Only ordinary selfless leaders like myself and many other will.’’ said Segopisho

She also revealed more information about her bigger plan behind all her gender equity programs.

‘’The aim is to hear from the actual victims or survivors as well as the perpetrators who made time in correctional facilities,  we want to capture the rawness of the reality, break the stigmas and, provoke and promote conversation that can provide possible solutions.’’

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Segopisho strongly believes that strategic partnerships are very important for any individuals or groups who are fighting gender based violence. In explaining her gender equity mobilization methodology, she also revealed names of her strategic collaborators.

‘’I believe that fighting any problem needs joint responsibility, since the beginning of this journey, I have forged relationships with different stakeholders with different objectives that collectively strive to improve the livelihood of our people. The likes of FAMSA, SAPS, CPF, Youth against Crime, youth in Christ, Sunshine Cinema, Love Life, Film Makers Tsantsabane local arts council, SODI-KONNECTS and Tsantsabane alcohol and drug services.’’

Like any other great initiative, Segopisho’s has a very interesting story that features in many Activators’ life stories. According to Segopisho, being involved in ACTIVATE! Change Drivers programe exposed her to the rampant gender based violence and also propelled her to do something about the problem.

The Upington based social change driver’s work has  applauded Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, for finally conceding to Bethlehem-based social change driver Segopisho’s call for national government to implement a coherent gender-based violence national government approach.

In a bid to complement Segopisho and other activists’ work, Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane on establishing an Inter-Ministerial Committee Council to eradicate gender-based violence and femicide, said:

“There are many cases of gruesome murders and rape of women that occur on a daily basis that go unreported; and the COVID-19 lockdown makes it even more difficult for many victims to report their ordeal to the police or the command centre. Therefore, it is incumbent for the IMC members to move with speed and urgently establish the National Council for Gender-Based Violence and Femicide.”

This is a story from the ACTIVATE! Change Drivers Network. A network of over 4200 diverse young people driving change for the public good across South Africa. Members of this network, Activators, are connected by their passion, skills, sense of self, and spark to address tough challenges.

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