“May we not be defined by our backgrounds, ethnicity, societal norms and perceptions. May we rise above all and create new spaces where we shall do great things and leave impactful legacies,” she said.Bakhetsile Mangena
WOMEN MUST UNITE TO COMBAT GBV, SAYS MANCOSA ACADEMIC
Women must join forces to confront gender-based violence, says Durban academic, Bakhetsile Mangena.
“As women continue to stand together, the fight against gender-based violence will be stronger, and we will gradually change the world’s perception about women and their capabilities,” said Mangena, a lecturer at MANCOSA private higher education institution.
After matriculating at Lechwe High School in eSwatini (formerly known as Swaziland) she attained the Bachelor of Social Science, majoring in Psychology, Drama and Human Resource Management; Postgraduate Diploma in Applied Social Science majoring in Policy and Development Studies; and Master of Commerce specialising in Leadership and Economic Development.
She then joined the academic team at MANCOSA where she lecturers in a number of programmes, namely public administration, research and human resource management.
A staunch feminist who has always believed in equality and diversity, Mangena said her definition of equality means that both men and women have equal access to any job opportunities and receive equal pay in the workplace.
Mangena said: “The spaces we operate in have made it impossible for women to lead without question or motive. The expectation that men can do better has been indoctrinated in our being and has caused us to think that women are not good enough.
“The world offers equal opportunities for all humankind but the people in power reserve all leadership positions for men. When women are given the opportunity, there are conditions. We all have equal opportunities, and that should always be applied.”
The mother of two girls, aged four and five, spends much of her spare time uplifting young women and reminding them of their worth. She works towards creating a space where her girls will not face the challenges women face today, where gender-based violence matters are not widely discussed, especially in the workplace, and where women are continuously not given the opportunities they deserve.
“It is important to empower people with leadership skills, particularly those in historically disadvantaged communities.
“Leadership is developed over time, and the environment you are in also plays a vital role in shaping your leadership skills and abilities.
“Over the years, I have had the opportunity to work with people from different backgrounds, and it is vital to enforce positive energies and encourage them to see beyond their circumstances.”
Mangena urged young girls to create their own identities and not to allow society to define them.
“May we not be defined by our backgrounds, ethnicity, societal norms and perceptions. May we rise above all and create new spaces where we shall do great things and leave impactful legacies,” she said.