BEHIND THE POLITICS: Ndabeni-Abrahams on patriarchy, family life & leadership

Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams sat down with Eyewitness News for a wide-ranging interview this Women's Month.

Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Communications Minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams said South African women need to respect and support each other more.

Ndabeni–Abrahams sat down with Eyewitness News for a wide-ranging interview this Women's Month.

LISTEN: Behind the politics: Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams

She shared some of her experiences while growing up in the struggle, family life and being a politician in the public eye.

Thrust into the spotlight as one of the youngest members in Cabinet, Ndabeni-Abrahams has often had to stand her ground in a male-dominated space.

She was appointed deputy minister in 2011 before being promoted to the position of minister last year.

Those close to her jokingly refer to her as "the dragon lady" and it’s easy to see why Ndabeni-Abrahams addresses patriarchy with frankness.

"I don't believe men are trembling on us on their own, they get it from us, not us as the victims [sic]. Most women, even when you come to work, it's better if a man says things... you feel that if a woman says this, she's bossy, she's this and that... all the names that we give women."

When she was appointed minister, not everyone embraced her and she believes her gender played a role.

"When one wants to drive a particular agenda, there's nothing you can do to stop that person. There's nothing you can do when people want to paint you in that manner. It is about what you do that must show people who you are, not what other people say about you."

Ndabeni-Abrahams is committed to fighting stigmas in her own place of work to emphasise that women can do anything.

WATCH: Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams: Woman of God, ‘The Dragon lady’ & a star destined to lead