CAPTION: Dr Zinzi Mkhize-Hlubi, a general practitioner from Fourways, Johannesburg, discussed womens’ health and issues in a short speech at Friday’s Women’s Dialogue organised by the National Children and Violence Trust (NCVT).

“Viva, women, viva!”

Such were the shouts of the ladies in attendance at the National Children and Violence Trust (NCVT)’s Women’s Dialogue held in Diepsloot on Friday, 19 August 2016. Approximately 80 women gathered at the St. Mungos Church to celebrate and reflect on their power to overcome the physical and emotional challenges that they face on a daily basis.

After Nokwazi Dlamini, senior social worker at NCVT, welcomed the women, members of the NCVT’s youth choir entertained the crowd with their songs. They received a warm applause before Dr Zinzi Mkhize-Hlubi took the stage.

“Women’s Month is not only about celebrating women and their achievements, but also about taking stock of our health and changing bad habits to live a healthy lifestyle”, she said. Mkhize-Hlubi went on to emphasise her belief that women form the backbone of families and communities – they should receive regular health education. She quoted Brigham Young: “When you educate a man, you educate a man; but when you educate a woman, you educate a generation.”

Judith Mthombeni, senior social worker at NCVT, also gave practical tips as she engaged with the women about domestic abuse. Social workers encounter different types of abuse every day, including emotional, physical, sexual and economic abuse. Much of the abuse stems from the power dynamics in relationships; women are often financially dependent on the person abusing them, rendering them seemingly powerless to escape. “We must not allow the violence to continue,” Mthombeni urged. She explained ways that women can prevent or address abuse, including economic empowerment, legal avenues (such as protection orders) and counselling.

The official programme ended with music, boisterous dancing, socialising and a definite feeling of optimism in the air.

“Today was so inspiring,” says Dlamini. “Interacting with people living in areas where significant financial and emotional support is needed really motivates us to work hard and keep making a positive difference.”

The NCVT will be hosting a second Women’s Dialogue in Cosmo City at the Multipurpose Centre, on Tuesday, 30 August 2016 at 10:30. For more information and to join the event, contact the NCVT at 011 705 1960.

More information about the NCVT is available on their website at Join them on Facebook: or Tweet them at

CAPTION: Members of the NCVT youth choir, with Nondumiso Nsibi, the musical director.