The economic empowerment of women plays a big role in South Africa’s effort to achieve inclusive growth, create jobs, and expand economic opportunities for all, President Cyril Ramaphosa told a gathering of business leaders at the inaugural Women Economic Assembly which is a multi-stakeholder initiative to advance women’s economic empowerment and inclusion.
WOMEN SHOULDER BURDEN OF POVERTY
He said that the unemployment rate among women is nearly 37%, compared to 32% among men.
Pres. Ramaphosa said besides social services, domestic and informal work, women are virtually absent as owners in key industries like steel, energy, mining, and agriculture.
GBV AND FEMICIDE CAUSED BY LACK OF WOMEN EMPOWERMENT
“Forty-two per cent of children in South Africa live only with their mother, compared to four per cent who live only with their father. The great divide in parental responsibility translates into a great divide in economic opportunity and circumstance,” said the President.
He said Gender-Based Violence and Femicide were also manifested by the lack of economic empowerment of women because as long as women were economically dependent on male partners, women have fewer chances of leaving an abusive relationship.
Pres. Ramaphosa said every government department, public institution, and private company can and should implement mechanisms to fast-track preferential procurement for women-owned enterprises.
He has committed to work closely with other government departments to ensure that government spending is geared towards women.
Click here to read the President’s speech.
Article published originally at www.thesouthafrican.com