Women in law

As we celebrate Women’s Month in August, there is a need to recognise the successes of women in the legal profession, while working toward closing the gender gap and creating gender parity. The Woza Women in Law Awards, hosted by Women in Leadership and Law and supported by legal technology solution provider, LexisNexis South Africa, will honour these exemplary women in law during an online event on 6 August 2020 at 14h00.

The keynote addresses will be delivered by Judge Thina Siwendu of the High Court, Gauteng Local Division, and Judge Daisy Molefe of the Equality Court. 

Woza is an isiZulu word meaning “come”, “come along”, “come aboard” and Woza Women in Law calls for the celebration of women who are forging ahead in the field of law, in spite of historically and culturally entrenched gender inequality.

“Despite being enshrined in the South African constitution and provided for in a number of legislative and policy frameworks, gender equality is still not the reality in the South African context – in business, within our homes and in the legal community,” says Videsha Proothveerajh, CEO of LexisNexis South Africa who will speak on Gender balanced leadership, diversity and inclusivity.

While recognising trailblazers in the Covid-19 Woza Women in Law Warriors category, the programme also includes various panel discussions. Coordinated by Judge Margaret Victor, the discussion “Unveiled Narratives”, will see panellists Judge Tina Siwendu, Judge Daisy Molefe, and author and Executive Director of the Institute of African Women in Law, Dr J. Jarpo Dawuni unpack the need for documentation of the history of women in law, with legal narratives providing an important tool of storytelling in African and other cultures.

Among other categories and discussions, Woza Women in Law will also address the scourge of gender-based violence (GBV) perpetuated against women, as highlighted by President Cyril Ramaphosa during his address on 17 June, in which he called it the “second pandemic in the country – as serious as the Covid-19”.

According to Ramaphosa, 51 percent of South African women have experienced violence at the hands of someone with whom they are in a relationship with latest statistics showing that a woman is murdered every three hours. GBV discussions will take precedence during the session, “Battling the deadly epidemic of Gender Based Violence” presented by panellists Swiss Ambassador Veronica Haller and Commissioner Angie Makwetla, National head of the SAHRC.

The event, while highlighting the achievement of trailblazers, will also give insight into the importance of women in law initiatives, upskilling and the global sisterhood. To attend Woza Women in Law, please register here.

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