How to im­prove women’s lives

CityPress - - Voices - He­len J via SMS Nt­siki Memela-Mo­tumi via SMS Tch­a­bane via SMS Glad­ness Mpumalanga

Fo­cus on fam­i­lies, please. Em­power women to take their right­ful place with ca­pac­ity build­ing and lead­er­ship train­ing pro­grammes. Es­tab­lish and fund mul­ti­pur­pose cen­tres in towns – es­pe­cially in ru­ral ar­eas – to cre­ate op­por­tu­ni­ties for women in­ter­ested in small busi­ness. Women in ru­ral ar­eas are not ben­e­fit­ing from all pos­si­bil­i­ties when it comes to be­com­ing eco­nom­i­cally self-suf­fi­cient. Su­san Shabangu, min­is­ter in the pres­i­dency re­spon­si­ble for women, is cor­rect to change her min­istry’s fo­cus. The fact is that we have a great leg­isla­tive frame­work on the ad­vance­ment of the gen­der-equal­ity agenda, and the chal­lenge lies in the im­ple­men­ta­tion. There­fore, the ap­point­ment of peo­ple to drive im­ple­men­ta­tion and ring-fence gen­der bud­gets for skills train­ing and change man­age­ment pro­grammes is para­mount.

We need to change the nar­ra­tive when so­cial­is­ing our chil­dren in the for­ma­tive years and em­pha­sise that gen­der equal­ity is not a zero-sum game, en­tail­ing vic­tory for women and loss for men. Ev­ery­one’s po­ten­tial must be un­leashed to pro­pel our coun­try for­ward for the achieve­ment of sus­tain­able growth and de­vel­op­ment. The 40% fe­male rep­re­sen­ta­tion in Par­lia­ment and state-owned en­ter­prises must be in­creased to up­lift many more. I’m a South African man, and it is sad to be in this coun­try and see how women and chil­dren are treated or abused. Even ed­u­ca­tion against abuse of women and chil­dren doesn’t work be­cause this an­i­mal called man thinks he is more pow­er­ful than the lioness. I am a teacher who had my hous­ing sub­sidy taken away be­cause I am mar­ried. Does this in­di­cate free­dom for women?

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