Women empowerment workshop held

2016-03-17 06:00
PHOTO: supplied Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu and HCM Mayor, Cynthia Mqwebu at the workshop.

PHOTO: supplied Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu and HCM Mayor, Cynthia Mqwebu at the workshop.

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THE Women’s Economic Empowerment Workshop, held at Port Shepstone Civic Centre on Tuesday was aimed at liberating­ and building capacity and dissemination in women, especially those in the rural areas and townships.

Hosted by the Department of Economic Development, Tourism and Environmental Affairs, MEC Mike Mabuyakhulu, said the workshop could not have been held at a more opportune moment, as the world celebrated the 2016 International Women’s Day on 8 March under the theme “Planet 50/50 by 2030”.

“We need to look at how far we have advanced the cause of women empowerment in the province, and what it is we can do to qualitatively change women in our province, and beyond,” he said.

“This day has further highlighted the challenge that the world needs to confront in order to ensure we advance the cause of women empowerment globally and that women can also access equal opportunities.”

The United Nations released statistics which showed that the world could be a better place if women are allowed to take their place in the saddle of human affairs, he said.

“When women are at the peace tables, their participation increases the probability of a peace agreement lasting at least two years by 20%, and 35% over 15 years. A child born to a mother who can read is 50% more likely to survive.

“Today, only one in five parliamentarians are women and they continue to earn less, have fewer assets and bear the burden of unpaid work and care.”

The provincial Women Economic Empowerment Strategy, a new programme aimed at assisting women will focus on:

• Integrated Institutional Framework to promote and develop KZN women-owned enterprises.

• Research and development programme resources to be shared.

• Capacity and skills development programmes.

• Easy access to finance and financial support programmes.

• Infrastructural and innovation support programmes.

• Support and grow women-owned enterprises.

• Advocacy and lobbying for women representation at all levels of empowerment.

• International exposure and business growth.

“In order to breathe life into the strategy, we have come up with a number of projects to empower women. One of these is the training of 70 women in each district to empower women,” said Mabuyakhulu.

The training has been rolled out with mixed success in all 11 districts, including eThekwini Metro.

An amount of R1 million has been made available for this.

“Also, this year 100 girls from top performing schools from historically disadvantaged areas were selected, 10 per school, to participate in a business plan development project,” he added.

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