GEWAL has hosted annual Women’s Summits since 2017 to commemorate International Women’s Day. As an inclusive platform for diverse voices, the summits enhance democratic engagement and cross-sector collaboration under the shared goal of attaining equality across all spheres of society.
It has been reported that only 5% of CEOs of large companies in Africa are women, despite research showing higher profits, swifter adaptability and greater likelihoods for innovation amongst companies with diverse leadership.
The summits are unique for its ability to convene equality-driven stakeholders who operate in different communities. The dialogue initiated amongst guests and speakers includes international and local insights that elevate perspectives. Discussions held at these summits have influenced national policies and encouraged the development of strategic programmes amongst partners.
The meaning of inclusivity at the Foundation extends beyond gender. The inclusion of young people in the Women’s Summits discussion ensures that the dialogue acknowledges intergenerational perspectives. With the introduction of, students from Motsepe Foundation anchor schools are invited to submit their thoughts on the subject matter, and the top ten learners with their teachers are invited to attend the summit. Winners are given the platform to address the audience by reading their essays and engaging with the delegates in attendance.
An additional element is the Shining Light Awards, which were launched to celebrate women in sports, science, technology and entrepreneurial fields. Stories of women who have overcome barriers, achieved success and currently work towards empowering others serves as inspiration to the youth by bringing hope that transformation is possible.