Graça Machel, Naledi Pandor and Aisha Pandor will be breaking barriers at FWA Leading Women Summit

Renowned African stateswoman and former first lady, Graça Machel, will join South African Minister Dr Naledi Pandor, as well as the CEO of SweepSouth, Dr Aisha Pandor, as part of this year’s influential speakers programme for Africa’s leading women’s summit. The 2020 FORBES WOMAN AFRICA Leading Women Summit presented by Mastercard and hosted by the KwaZulu-Natal government (#LWS2020KZN) will be taking place at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli ICC Complex in Durban on Friday, 6 March 2020.

“The calibre of women participating in the FORBES WOMAN AFRICA Leading Women Summit, and their roles in gender inclusivity, continue to attract global attention, and we are excited to welcome these three game-changers to the 2020 programme,” said Renuka Methil, Managing Editor of FORBES WOMAN AFRICA. “Their embodiment of this year’s theme, ‘The Ceiling Crashers 2.0: Power with Purpose’ will showcase how they are working to level the playing field, inspiring the audience to make meaningful changes within their own sphere of influence.”

Graça Machel extends #LWS2020KZN conversation on female empowerment

Her deep-rooted connection with Africa’s freedom struggles and decades of service to advancing women’s and children’s rights have seen former Mozambican and South African first lady, Graça Machel, lending her expertise to a number of international organisations. She continues the work of her iconic late husband, Nelson Mandela, as Chairperson of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital Trust and serves as a trustee of the Nelson Mandela Children’s Fund.

Machel also founded and serves as President of the Foundation for Community Development and the Zizile Institute for Child Development. In 2010, she established the Graça Machel Trust, focusing on the advocation of women’s economic empowerment, food security and nutrition, education for all, as well as good governance.

This year’s attendees to the FORBES WOMAN AFRICA Leading Women Summit will benefit from Machel’s continental insight into breaking age-old gender barriers as well as her role in promoting inclusivity across a number of key sectors.

The power of positive female role models

The South African Minister of International Relations and Cooperation and the CEO of a multi-million-rand organisation, SweepSouth, just happen to be members of the same family. And this year’s #LWS2020KZN audience will get to hear valuable leadership learning  directly from Dr Naledi Pandor and her CEO daughter, Dr Aisha Pandor, as they discuss: ‘Mother and Daughter: How to Raise a CEO’.

“I’m excited to be speaking at an event that gathers such a dynamic, inspiring and ambitious group of women together, both in terms of the speaker bill, awardees and general attendees,” said Aisha. “I’m particularly excited to be in conversation with my mom – for the first time publicly – as she is someone who remains a huge role model for me, in terms of her career and as a strong moral compass. She is also as an example of a wonderful parent.”

Aisha, who also holds a PhD in Human Genetics, co-founded SweepSouth with her husband, Alen Ribic. This is an online platform dedicated to booking, managing and paying for home-cleaning services. SweepSouth has empowered some 15 000 previously unemployed or underemployed women with work opportunities, and is now an advocate for financial and digital inclusivity for women. The organisation has since launched partnerships resulting in free life and disability insurance for platform workers, and free access to support services for victims of abuse and gender-based violence.

Extending this engaging #LWS2020KZN dialogue, Dr Pandor will draw on her wealth of knowledge amassed from years in public office. Her experience in education policy planning made her a welcome appointment as South Africa’s Minister of Education in 2004, and she has since served as a cabinet member in various portfolios. Demonstrating the value of ongoing education, Dr Pandor recently received her PhD from the University of Pretoria – she also holds honorary doctorates from the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, University of Stellenbosch, and the University of Lisbon (Portugal).

Commenting on the upcoming summit, Dr Pandor said: “I am looking forward to my session at the Forbes Woman Africa event as I believe conversations across generations are valuable and empowering.”

Don’t miss out on #LWS2020KZN

These inspiring women will be joined by other high-profile speakers participating in panel discussions and inspiring ‘In the Spotlight’ talks. The summit will be followed by the FORBES WOMAN AFRICA Awards & Gala Dinner which celebrates the continent’s most influential female ‘ceiling crashers’ across a number of key categories. 

Keep updated on all the latest news and announcements on Twitter @LWSummit and join the conversation using the hashtags #LWS2020KZN #DOKZN.

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