Every year, International Women’s Day is observed across the world on 8 March to celebrate the achievements of women and to bring attention to issues affecting women.
To celebrate this momentous day, the Global Compact Network South Africa partnered with the Johannesburg Stock Exchange (JSE) to Ring the Bell for Gender Equality on 10 March 2023.
The aim of the event was to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment in the marketplace, workplace, and society by highlighting the important role that the private sector can play in achieving gender equality.
This year’s International Women’s Day theme – ‘DigitALL: Innovation and technology for Gender Equality’ – is focused on practices and efforts around innovation and technology to accelerate progress on gender equality and women’s empowerment and the 2030 Agenda and Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Chief Operating Officer of the JSE, Itumeleng Monale spoke about the significance of women empowerment in her opening remarks, “At the JSE we recognised the integral role we play in the functioning of the South African economy and its society. As such, we strive towards Gender Equality and inclusion that encourages women’s empowerment,” she said.
Nonkululeko Gobodo, Author and CEO at Awakened Global, delivered the keynote address. Gobodo, who was the first black female to qualify as a charted accountant in South Africa, spoke about the importance of women in leadership roles, “We need to give women room to lead, women are expected to abandon themselves so that they fit in but when they are free you can imagine the kind of world women create. The problem in South Africa right now, we have 50% of the population is dependent on grants, that is a failure of leadership and therefore I’m saying let’s put women in leadership positions and we are going to see real change,” she said.
This event, now in its ninth year, is part of a global initiative in collaboration with the International Finance Corporation (IFC), The World Federation of Exchanges (WFE), the Sustainable Stock Exchanges (SSE) Initiative, UN Women, the UN Global Compact as well as associations such as Motsepe Foundation, Rand Merchant Bank and Women in ETFs.