Girls at work: Women members of the Students’ Representative Council and UCT staff met with girl learners from COSAT in a Take Girl Child to Work Day event.
UCT kicked-off Women’s Month by joining in the national Take a Girl Child to Work Day (TGCWD) initiative and hosting 30 grade-10 girl learners from the Centre of Science & Technology (COSAT) school in Khayelitsha.
The TGCWD is an annual corporate social investment event to help young women reflect on their roles in society, and to assist them to prepare for the world of work.
At the UCT event, the learners were taken on a campus tour, spent some time in the botany and chemical engineering labs, and attended talks on careers. They also learnt about UCT’s recruitment process and funding. Welcoming the learners, Gerda Kruger, UCT’s executive director for communication and marketing, said higher education is the most effective single intervention in the fight against poverty.
“Empowering women and giving them education can have huge benefits for families and the community. You, as young women, have a responsibility to take those opportunities.”
Deputy registrar Dr Karen van Heerden said the event also highlighted a milestone: 125 years of women on campus. Van Heerden noted that a lot has changed at the university over the years, except that women have always been vocal and involved in issues affecting society.
She encouraged learners to become pioneers, look after their bodies, find nurturing relationships, and recognise their potential. “The road will never be smooth,” said Van Heerden. “Don’t be put off by constraints, but constantly work around them.”