Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane officially launched Women’s Month 2022 under the theme: “Women’s Socio-Economic Rights and Empowerment: Building Back Better for Women’s Resilience!”
The National Women’s Month programme is based on the ongoing interventions across the work of government, civil society and the private sector within the context of the national priorities outlined by government.
During her address to 1000 guests in a Women in Waste Management Workshop, the Minister stated that the strategic focus of this year’s theme is to advance women’s socio-economic empowerment agenda towards the achievement of gender equality by 2030.
“The theme is in line with South Africa’s constitutional vision and Government’s policy priorities as outlined in the National Development Plan (NDP) and the 2019-2024 Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF),” said Minister Nkoana-Mashabane.
The Minister reiterated that frank conversations need to be had on the socio-economic empowerment and advancement of women, young women, and women with disabilities in South Africa.
“At the heart of our mandate as the department is to ensure that women, youth and persons with disabilities play an effective role in representation, ownership and control of income generating assets within the economy.”
“We must view their participation as critical to ensuring the objectives of the Economic Recovery and Reconstruction Plan are met.”
“The recent floods in KwaZulu-Natal and Eastern Cape paint a devastating picture on the effects of choosing to ignore climate change.”
“Now, more than ever, the green economy provides the necessary sustainable frameworks in which we can rebuild our economy in an inclusive manner. We must explore the economic, social and environmental potential of the green economy in driving gender equality.”
The Minister further went on to say that 28 years into democracy women still remain on the periphery of the country’s developmental agenda.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has deepened existing inequalities leaving millions of women at the receiving end of high levels of poverty, increasing food and fuel prices, climate change, unemployment and high rates of Gender-Based Violence and Femicide (GBVF).”
“We find ourselves in a moment of crisis where we need to act collectively to defend the democratic gains that the women of 1956 have worked so hard to achieve.”
“Not so long ago, young women in Krugersdorp were violated and raped while shooting a music video. Unemployment is high in South Africa and to hear that these young women were approached by a group of men who raped and robbed them of their belongings is despicable.”
“We are thankful of the interventions by SAPS on the apprehension of suspects and we hope that there will be convictions soon. We are also thankful as the young women are receiving psychosocial support for them and their families to overcome this ordeal.”
In the words of the struggle stalwart, Mme Ida Mntwana:
“Let us come out as a united force, let us take our place in the struggle for freedom. If we all put our shoulders to the wheel, the time will come when we will be proud of the acts of women. Let us unite, let us go forward with courage and determination.”
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities.