50% gender parity and women empowerment are main
priorities for the new Ministry
24 Jun 2009
Achieving 50% gender parity and the establishment of an empowerment fund for women will the main focus of the new Department of Women, Children and Persons with Disability, Minister Noluthando Mayende-Sibiya told Parliament today.
The new department will also ensure that employment and skills development targets for persons with disability are met and public facilities are accessible to persons with disabilities.
“There are clear targets already available including employment equity target of two percent and four percent for skills development. The challenge is to move both the public and private sectors towards meeting these targets. Failure to achieve these targets is not an option if we are to remain true to our vision of an inclusive South African society,” said Minister Mayende-Sibiya.
She said an immediate deliverable for her department will be to a fund for women empowerment. The consultation towards the establishment of such a fund would start immediately.
“This fund will enable women to start and develop their own businesses. It will also assist NGOs and civil society in undertaking women empowerment programmes,” said Minister Mayende-Sibiya.
She said her Department is going to initiate research to identify blockages that limit progress towards attaining the 50% equity target for women in senior management positions in the public sector and such research will inform further interventions towards achieving gender parity targets. She also said that women and children constitute the majority of the population in rural areas and should therefore benefit most from government programmes to deal with underdevelopment in rural areas.
“Women and children are the ones who fetch water from the streams, collect wood for cooking and toil the land to support families through subsistence farming. It is therefore logical that they should be the primary beneficiaries of government programmes on rural development, agricultural support and land reform. Our goal is to ensure that women are liberated from the constraints of many centuries of land deprivation,” said Minister Mayende-Sibiya.
While she was still consulting stakeholders on finalisation of the strategic priorities for her new Ministry, Minister Mayende-Sibiya said her Department will focus on:
- responding to the challenge of feminisation of poverty
- creation of decent jobs and economic empowerment of women
- increasing the representation of women in positions of decision making and in management levels towards 50% parity
- eradication of violence against women
Issued by: Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities
24 Jun 2009
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