Health Systems and Public Health
Welcome to Stellenbosch University

Division of Health Systems and ​​Public Health 

Empowered Women: a Women’s Health and Wellness Day

​The centrality of women in society 

The centrality of the role of women in society is undoubted. They are caretakers, educators, workforce members, entrepreneurs and leaders. The objectives of the Sustainable Development Goals and the South African National Development Plan provide important insights into the challenges facing women, many of which are as a result of the impact of the social determinants of health. The goals speak to promotion of equality, empowerment of women, the need for strategies to decrease their mortality and the need for increased access to high-quality sexual and reproductive health services amongst others. Further, rising burdens of non-communicable diseases and cancers significantly impact women in our societies. 

Health and Primary Health Care 

The World Health Organisation defines health as “physical, mental, and social wellbeing, and as a resource for living a full life". The philosophy of primary health care (PHC) encompasses equity, solidarity and social justice. It focuses on promoting health and preventing disease, and comprises of five types of care: promotive; preventive; curative; rehabilitative; and supportive/palliative. A key pillar of PHC is active community engagement. 


The Initiative 

Engagement with the Northern Tygerberg sub-structure manager (Ms Juanita Arendse) and the SU Division of Health Systems and Public Health staff have pinpointed the need to develop partnerships and deliver programmes that will empower women of all ages in this regard. The hosting of Women's Health and Wellness days, which mobilises women, focuses on health promotion, knowledge sharing, stimulates dialogue and showcases community assets and programmes provide excellent opportunities to highlight women's issues, and to empower women. If done well it brings together key stakeholders and roleplayers. 

Alignment with Faculty 

The EWI aligns with the Faculty's initiative in that it seeks to promote health and equality in South Africa and beyond, with a mission to promote transformative learning and to translate knowledge that promote health and development, and to use active citizenship to benefit the broader community. It aligns with the university's social impact focus in that will address key SDG women's goals, encourage engaged teaching and learning, engage citizenship, engage research, and special programmes. It will also focus on and leverage on the strengths of Quadruple Helix roleplayers, namely government, industry civil society and the university . 


The main objectives are to:

  • wh2.jpgMobilise a group of university, government and civil society members to volunteer for various aspects of the day, namely planning, execution and evaluation.
  •  Create opportunities for training and mentorship on project planning, running effective meetings, engaging with stakeholders, fundraising, reaching out to community assets towards planning the Empowered Women Initiative (EWI) health event.
  • Create opportunities for other Faculties and Departments to participate and find novel ways to address key women's health issues (e.g. arts, drama, media).
  • Host a Women's Health and Wellness Day, the EWI, using multimedia platforms, interactive methods, informative sessions, testing and screening, showcasing of local assets.
  •  Research the effect of the event on the planners' and participants' knowledge, behaviours and perceptions regarding their health.
  • Publish an article on the event and results of the research 

Where are we now? 

We've hosted our first Women's Health and Wellness day!!!!






Strengthening the Health and Wellness of Our Communities, Together! 

For more information, please contact Ms Stacey Blows (