Women discuss mental health and peace
The International Women’s Peace Group (IWPG) hosted the, ‘Only Peace Dialogue’, on 24 February an annually held global event aimed to promote IWPG’s activities.
The event was attended by various aspiring women that have a common aim of contributing peace to society with the theme, ‘The importance of mental health as we advocate for sustainable Gender Equality.
Clinical Psychologist and Chairperson of the Positive Living and Resilience Center (PORE), Dr Julia Mutambara said women play a pivotal role in society as they are the pillars of families and communities.
“Due to the numerous roles women are obligated to fulfil, they are subject to mental health challenges,” she added.
She said some of the mental health challenges include exposure to hardships, for instance, positions at various levels of management, stereotyping of women and she addressed women’s mental health in the African context.
Principal of Teddy Bears Montessori Pre-school in South Africa, Preshanie Maharaji addressed the issue of Women and Mental Health in the Workplace and said women’s mental health is an important element in one’s overall well-being and contentedness, as it is crucial to maintaining cognitive alternates, emotional sanity and the ability to balance work, parental, societal and personal relationships.
“The expectation upon women to take up multiple roles at home and at the workplace ends up taking a toll if one is not mentally balanced,” she added.
In 2022, the Southern African branch of IWPG plans to work collaboratively with its peach committee members and IWPG Peace Lecturers from across 10 participating countries to spread peace culture in their communities.
The event was attended by 148 participants and the topics presented by the invited speakers included, the role of media in mental health for a sustainable tomorrow, gender equality within education and gender quality through the lens of the Declaration of Peace and Cessation of War.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic, studies have shown a decline in women’s mental health due to the increase in gender violence and gender inequality. And the risk of anxiety, depression and PTSD is higher amongst women due to exposure trauma caused by experienced violence.