Empowering women for poverty eradication at the Women's Parliament 2008
7 August 2008
On 19 to 20 August, Parliament will host the annual Women's Parliament under the theme "Parliament empowering women for poverty eradication". The theme is derived from Parliament's 2008 theme, "Parliament empowering communities for poverty eradication", which is in line with the first Millennium Development Goal to eradicate extreme poverty and hunger by 2015.
Parliament's theme for 2008 not only focuses on the challenges that women face but also on ways in which women can be empowered to uplift themselves out of the poverty cycle. Discussions in the Women's Parliament will be conducted under the following themes:
* Reflections on previous Women's Parliaments from 2004 to 2007
* Women and macro-economic policy, which will include a discussion on progress that has been made in giving effect to the Conference Declaration in terms of eradicating poverty among South African women
* The Role of Social movements and Regional Women's organisations in eradicating poverty and economically empowering women
* The link between the increased political representation of women and poverty eradication
* An additional theme, "Special contributors to women's empowerment" has been included in the plenary session to focus on sharing stories of women who have succeeded in various spheres of life in the fight against poverty.
The debate under "Woman and macro-economic policy" will be a continuation from an international conference on Women and the Economic Recovery of Africa that Parliament hosted in 2006 where 200 women leaders from Africa, Cuba, Brazil, Portugal, Austria and Hungary participated. That conference had focused on the impact of economic policy on the lives of African women and strategies to utilise African Parliaments and continental programmes such as New Partnerships for Africa's Development (NEPAD) and the Pan African Parliament to facilitate empowerment.
In the upcoming Women's Parliament, the programme will include looking at progress made in giving effect to the 2006 Conference declaration and means of addressing the remaining challenges.
In deliberating on "The Role of Social Movements and Regional Women's Organisations in eradicating poverty and economically empowering women", focus will be on the Ekurhuleni Declaration of the of the Pan African Women's Organisation (PAWO) at its ninth conference in 2007. The Ekurhuleni Declaration declares that African States must ensure unity and economic co-operation as well as collaborative efforts to improve the quality of life of all people on the continent.
Results of a survey on "Equality in Politics: A survey of Women and Men in Parliaments", which were adopted during the 2008 Inter-Parliamentary Union Assembly in Cape Town April will also be discussed.
Under an additional theme, which will look at special contributors to women's empowerment, deliberations will include an investigation into whether women have exploited initiatives such as South African Women in Dialogue (SAWiD), South African Women Entrepreneurial Network (SAWEN), Women in Mining (WiM) and Women in Construction (WiC) to improve their economic reality.
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Issued by: South African Parliament
7 August 2008
Source: South African Parliament (http://www.parliament.gov.za)