Nthoto Kutuka, Beacon Secondary School, Phuthaditjhaba, Free State

Nthoto Kutuka
Beacon Secondary School, Phuthaditjhaba, Free State


Being strong willed and strong hearted is a trait that many may feel is a great character to have. At this point in my life, I can truly say that it can sometimes be a long road to achieve this character but is defiantly worth the hard work and perseverance.

Being a woman, I feel very special and proud of myself. In my opinion, I think being a woman is the utmost honourable gift one could possibly get.

The Women Deliver 2019 Conference, the world’s largest conference on gender equality in the 21st century, took place earlier in June in Vancouver, Canada. Fortunately, I was one of over 8000 attendees from more than 160 countries who came together to advocate, share new knowledge and brainstorm solutions for the health, rights and well-being of girls and women.

The week’s activities featured exciting discussions to accelerate progress for girls and women. My highlight of the conference was when a newly announced Financing for MOMs (Maternal Outcomes Matters) Alliance came out of the conference. Its goal was clear; to improve and expand infrastructure, services and access to care in Sub-Saharan Africa. Specifically, it will focus on ensuring proper care for women during pregnancy and childbirth, as we know it is one of the biggest challenges facing South Africa for instance.

My vital takeaway from this conference is that increased economic empowerment and opportunity for women can lead to significant economic growth.

This trip was a nice experience. It was a once in a lifetime opportunity that I could not possibly resist. I am glad I got to experience Vancouver with my fellow team members. The food, having to adapt to different time-zones was so amusing I must say and all thanks to Motsepe Foundation.

I learnt that:

  • to empower women, women will have to wake up their inner strength. The way a bird is not able to fly with the help of only one wing, similarly the progress of a nation cannot be achieved only with the help of educated men.
  • we must not resist change as we would not develop and improve.
  • we need more women in power in order to provide harmony and safe environment.
  • we must not go easy on ourselves.

With the knowledge that I got, I will unleash and elevate the power of others by helping them embrace their passion, potential and immediate opportunities.