By Walter Greene
As part of the United Nations General Assembly last week in New York, a part of the South African Delegation of women participated in the 2nd Annual Mbokodo Awards "GLOBAL WOMENS DIALOGUE" where leadership, infused with humanity and philanthropy were discussed. Carol Bouwer, UNICEF South Africa Special Advocate, Anne Githuku-Shongwe, Representative UN Women, South Africa and Malaak Compton-Rock, Humatarian and Author conducted the dialogue
CAROL IN CHARGE
Carol, who spearheaded the event, spoke on women, now having a voice and they must speak up. "The whole world is affected by the `Me Too' Movement. It makes each of us to be engaged, only when we come out and support one another, then they will change." Carol is CEO of Carol Bouwer Productions, a television company and is the creator of the Carol Bouwer Handbag, a fast rising company that designs and produce high-end handhags in South Africa. As an industry leader in South Africa, and bearing the torch as a UNICEF Specail Advocate, Carol addressed the UN General Assembly on Monday.
Anne Githuku-Shongwe said; "As we do our work, our company would have highest profits with a woman as CEO. What we find at the end of the day is what they give women is miniscule. We need programs that are about women - about Grandmothers, it's key to childhood development....we don't need to be treated as second class citizens. What we are trying to do, is to continue to make it so every gender gets equality." Anne continued; "I have not experienced so much comradery with women like I do now. What can we do as women to support one another?" Anne emphasized that within a three month period they were able to transform the unit at her company and generate policies that they've never seen before, just because they had three women leaders at the helm of the unit. "Having the first woman President in Africa, she made things move. It's no longer a question...a woman Chairman changes the whole structure of an organization. They are key to how a company transforms." She referenced the women in Nigeria of always having a "su-su" (a pyramid type money saving situation) "They raise money behind the issue of philanthropy, there are ways where women form platforms to raise money and grow." She saluted the country of Malawi because "The President has made it possible for Malawi to be the first country in the world to make equal pay gender equality."
Malaak Compton-Rock spoke on her work in Malawi and how supporting causes build accountability by giving back. "Sometimes you can't give from your wallet, but you can volunteer - you can always find a way to give back. When you use the word philanthropy, sometimes you feel like you have to be a big millionaire and that is not so."