Women must remove barriers to economic emancipation

Pretoria – Chairperson of the African Union Commission and Home Affairs Minister, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma has challenged women to this month concentrate their activities on making sure that they remove barriers to their economic emancipation. “I am not talking even about big business but just small and medium – one of the major problems is access to finance and land, we must also ensure women have access to other resources like electricity and running water,” said Dlamini Zuma. Speaking at an event to mark launch of 2012 Women’s Month on Saturday at the University of the Free State, Dlamini Zuma emphasised that women must know what other women are doing all over the continent and have cross pollination. She encouraged women to be part of the emerging economies, noting that some people were beginning to say women must become a force to be reckoned with in the economy. “The future we bequeath to our girl children beyond this decade, must demonstrate tangible progress in the conditions of women,” the minister said. She said progress had been made in the matter of representation in Parliament and in Cabinet and that this progress must still continue and grow, but also efforts should now turn to the economy in a systematic and focused manner. “Education and skills, including in science and technology, is very important for the emancipation of women, access to finance and land is also critical, we must enter the struggle for economic emancipation with the same vigour as we did with struggle for liberation. “We have what it takes, we must go for it and our continent will be much better and stronger for our courage and determination….the girl child of the future must remember us as the women who lit the road to the freedom like burning meteors,” she said. She urged South African women in particular and women in Africa to also embrace the African Union Decade of Women, declared as such by African Heads of State and Government in 2010. “We should define for ourselves what this decade means, define that we want to do, the role we want to play and achieve during this decade, it must be our responsibility to define and implement the changes the want to see.” As the country marks Women’s Month, Dlamini Zuma reminded women to remember that the Pan African Women’s Organisation (PAWO), which was formed in Tanzania in 1962, commemorates its 50th anniversary this year. The minister challenged South African women to join in engaging actively with the objectives of the African Union, so that they can together, determine the agenda and the outcomes of the Women’s Decade. She highlighted that PAWO was one of the building blocks aimed at uniting and uplifting women in particular and citizens in general. “PAWO has historically played an important role in the mobilisation of women for the struggle and for the liberation of our continent. As it celebrates its 50th anniversary, we should perhaps ask ourselves whether it is still able to respond to the dynamic changes within the continent and in the world. Is it able to address the present needs of women of political, social and economic emancipation? If the answer is no, we must take the necessary steps to ensure it can respond effectively, even if it means to transform the organisation.” – SAnews.gov.za

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.