Gauteng committed to training women entrepreneurs

Monday, March 9, 2009

Johannesburg - The Gauteng Provincial Government is committed to providing training and funding to organised women entrepreneurs.

Speaking at the Provincial Women's Dialogue meeting on Monday, Gauteng Premier Paul Mashatile said they will also increase their support to emerging female farmers.

"As a provincial government, we have prioritised skills development. We also want to increase our funding and training to organised women entrepreneurs.

"However, for us to be able to assist you efficiently, we need to establish an institutional way of dealing with the challenges facing women," he said.

The gathering which was also used to observe International Women's Day (IWD), which is celebrated annually on 8 March, was attended by women from various formations in the province.

Their discussions also centred around strengthening their unity in order to engage government in an organised way, creating a lasting partnership with government as well as increasing women representation in all spheres of government.

Speaking to BuaNews Anna Mbele a resident from Soweto, said in her area women are seen to be progressing since they always work together in addressing issues affecting them.

Head of Gender in Gauteng and MEC for Local Government Qedani Mahlangu told BuaNews that women organisations in the province usually meet twice a year to review their progress as well as to discuss challenges still facing them.

"Our next meeting will be shortly after the general elections. We are going to work hard to ensure that women in this province should work together in order to achieve more," she said.

The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) recently held a multi-stakeholder panel discussion on reducing the burden of HIV and AIDS care on women and girls through equal sharing of responsibilities between men and women.

Participants, panellists and guests were encouraged to affirm their commitment to a plan of action with the pledge: "Men and women unite for a plan of action to share the burden of care."

The United Nations in partnership with CGE is committed to developing an E-network for knowledge sharing and support on the issue.

The network will link various civil society organisations who are working in this area.