The Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, says every effort must be made to empower women economically as part of ending abuse and gender inequality.
At the launch of Women’s Month in Tshwane on Wednesday, the Minister stressed the need for cross-sectoral cooperation between government and its development partners.
“Government cannot do it alone,” Nkoana-Mashabane said.
She further appealed to business people to invest in the production of sanitary pads to assist young women.
European Union Ambassador Raul de Luzenberger said despite the enormous progress made, gender equality has been uneven across regions and within countries.
“Worldwide, girls and women continue to be systematically left behind, discriminated against and have their rights violated on a daily basis.”
De Luzenberger said as development partners, they share the concern and condemn the high prevalence of domestic and sexual violence against women and girls in South Africa.
He warned that the culture of silence and impunity around gender-based violence costs the country billions of rands each year, and affects the development and livelihood of millions of families.
“If we don’t put an end to the scourge of violence, South African women, girls and children will not be able to realise their basic human rights and their full and valuable contributions to the social economic improvement of the country,” De Luzenberger said.
United Nations (UN) Resident Coordinator Nardos Bekele-Thomas said the UN, including 17 agencies and partners, is working to address various areas including gender responsive planning, budgeting, monitoring and evaluation.
Women’s Month 2019 will be celebrated under the theme ‘25 Years of Democracy: Growing South Africa Together for Women’s Emancipation’.
The theme ties together the success story of South Africa, with the gains women have made since 1994. It also reminds citizens of the social compact that is required to break down the multiple barriers and threats that women, young women, and women with disabilities still face. – SAnews.gov.za