UN plans to drop SA women’s unemployment rate

2014-02-19 16:34

A total of 22% by 2020: that is the UN Women’s target for the female unemployment rate by the end of the decade.

The StatsSA Quarterly Labour Force Survey shows the unemployment rate for South African women is 2.2 percentage points higher than the national average.

Deputy representative of UN Women South Africa Sadiq Syed said the organisation was working to decrease the present rate of 26.3% to 20% by 2020. The rate among men is 22.4%.

UN Women and Coca-Cola this week launched a partnership to eradicate poverty and hunger and promote gender equality.

The initiative was started because of the barriers and challenges women entrepreneurs face through a lack of access to business training, financial capital, mentoring and social and economic development.

Thandeka Mxenge, deputy director-general of the department of women, children and people with disabilities, said: “Women are very vulnerable in the labour market and remain excluded from the mainstream economy.”

Mxenge said there were several micro-retailers in poor communities but they had to be empowered to help grow their enterprises and to ensure their businesses were sustainable in the long run.

The lack of female entrepreneurs was noticeable at another initiative launched this week.

Brewery giant SAB shelled out R2.3 million to support 18 young entrepreneurs – but only one-third were women.

Boipelo Nkadimeng, SAB’s enterprise development manager, lamented the shortage of female entrepreneurs on the programme. She said most of the applicants were male and that having six women in the programme was an improvement.

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