DA members observed a moment of silence to remember women who have lost their lives to the vicious Covid-19 virus at the party’s Women’s Month event held in Ezibeleni last week.
DA Women’s Network (Dawn) provincial executive committee (PEC) councillor Lunga Mangcu said it was imperative to honour that moment as those who were remembered had selflessly contributed to the party.
“We have had women who were part of Dawn, who have died. We cannot even bury them. Because of Covid-19 we are limited with what we can do. Today we took that moment to light a candle and appreciate these women and highlight that their contribution was not in vain.”
Guests attending the gathering hailed from far afield including Hofmeyr, Ezibeleni, Tarkastad Whittlesea, Zingquthu, Ilinge, Komani, Sterkstroom and Molteno. After the tribute, an agricultural officer from the department of rural development and agrarian reform presented programmes tailored for women and the youth and issued application forms for attendees to make use of funding opportunities.
Enoch Mgijima DA constituency leader and MPL Jane Cowley said: “It was such a pleasure to be here with all the women from all corners of this constituency. We were gathered specifically not to lament the difficulties that women face on a daily basis. We are aware of those. We decided instead to celebrate women, their strength, their ability to unite their communities. My talk was all about being a seed in your community, growing unity, love, purpose and supporting one another and becoming a beautiful garden together. We were able to give all the women some seeds to take home so they can practically start their little gardens as well. What I am most proud of is that our male councillors were here in full support of us today and they shared this lovely day with us and that meant a lot.”
To honour her lifelong dedication to the party, an emotional councillor Carol Boast was acknowledged and surprised with a goodies hamper. Cowley said Boast had been affiliated with the party for years and had always advocated for women. “Before Carol became a councillor in 2012, she was actually a staff member for the Democratic Alliance. It was a special moment for us today, to do something small to show our deep appreciation for the decades of effort, love and nurturing she has given women and children in the communities she has served,” said Cowley.
Mangcu added that as a newly elected member of the PEC her aim was to empower and educate women about Dawn. “I will train women to ensure they are skilled for their personal work, their communities as well as for the network. My aim is to empower women, get them to mingle with women from parliament so they are familiar with what their portfolios are and what they do so they can aspire to become like some of them. I have started working with women in agriculture, women who are learning to knit, crochet and sew. More often than not women are there, campaigning and working hard, but never appreciated.