by SAVIOUS KWINIKA
JOHANNESBURG, (CAJ News) – THE historic Women’s Economic Assembly set for this week is a milestone towards addressing gender disparities in South Africa.
This is according to President Cyril Ramaphosa ahead of the event scheduled for Gauteng.
“The first-ever Women’s Economic Assembly is a milestone to be celebrated by us all,” he said in his weekly letter on Monday.
Ramaphosa said the event brought the government closer to meeting its constitutional aspiration of equality.
It would be a vital tool through which his administration could accelerate the transformation of the economy.
He highlighted this was the final decade towards meeting the 2030 vision of the National Development Plan.
“Let us work together as the public and private sectors and all of society,” Ramaphosa said.
“Let us act with renewed urgency to realise the full economic empowerment of our country’s women, of the women of Africa and of women everywhere.”
The Women’s Economic Assembly will consider how supply chains can be used to benefit women-owned businesses, address the policy impediments to women’s economic empowerment, and improve access to financing for women-owned businesses, especially rural enterprises.
A number of economic sectors, such as automotive, agriculture, mining and energy, will present commitments and action plans to enhance the participation of women-owned businesses.
Some government departments and state-owned enterprises will also present their commitments.
The most recent employment numbers show the unemployment rate of black African women is the highest at 41 percent.
This is more than 4 percentage points higher than the national average.
There is inadequate representation of women in managerial positions in the private sector.
Some 67 percent of managerial positions are held by men compared to 33 percent by women.
– CAJ News