Gauteng Provincial Government is hosting a three day Women’s Economic Empowerment Summit and Exhibition to commemorate International Women’s Day.
The main aim of the summit and expo is to connect women to business opportunities and skills development programmes while coming up with tangible solutions on how to speed up women empowerment.
Amongst many other things, women are also being advised on how to run their business, get funding and handle business failure.
Addressing the summit, Gauteng Premier, David Makhura said the provincial government was doing a lot empower and improve the wellbeing of women in the province.
Gauteng remain steely in its determination to ensure that women become among the major drivers and beneficiaries of the programme for radical social and economic transformation.
Makhura noted that the provincial cabinet consists of 50% women, Heads of Department for 14 departments, seven are women, the Premier’s Advisory Panel comprise of nine women out of 16 members.
“Our bursary programme administered by Gauteng City Region Academy just awarded 4000 bursaries to best performing township schools and out of that total 2177 were awarded young women.
“In my own personal capacity, I run a trust where I educate 20 students. Thirteen of those are young women.
“The provincial government also runs Welfare to Work Programme where we empower young women not to rely on social grants but to run their own businesses,” said Premier Makhura.
Makhura said some of the most innovative businesses were ran by women and all they need was support.
“I want to announce that during women’s month in August we will give recognition awards to women to acknowledge their excellence in business, government and civil society. Be ready and prepare for the Premier's Women's Excellence Awards in August,” he said.
UN Women Country Director, Anne Shongwe said some of the main challenges still facing women were pay disparities and sexual harassment.
“Pay disparities are still very much a reality as is the perception that women are less capable than men in certain professions.
“For an example, only 9% of the public procurement of goods and services goes to women owned companies. This worries us,” said Shongwe.
Some of the people that attended the summit included Minister in the Presidency, Susan Shabangu, MEC for Social Development, Nandi-Mayathula-Khoza, MEC for Roads and Transport, Ismail Vadi and MEC for Economic Development, Lebogang Maile and MEC for Sports, Culture and Recreation, Faith Mazibuko.
Issued by the Gauteng Provincial Government
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