Fin24

Zuma: Women need economic freedom

2011-08-09 16:55

Johannesburg - The economic empowerment of women in South Africa was under the spotlight on Tuesday as the country commemorated Women's Day.

President Jacob Zuma said statistics showed that not much progress is being made to advance women in the business sector.

Only 4.4% of the chief executive and managing director positions were held by woman and they held 15.8% of all directorships according to the 2011 Women in Corporate Leadership Census of the Business Women's Association.

He said 2011 was the year of economic transformation and job creation and government wanted to see a "visible change" for women from "all walks of life".

He encouraged women to enter industries considered to be traditionally male dominated - such as mining.

"We are however concerned that the target of 10% for women participation in mining was not met, as the recent Mining Charter review has indicated. This means that more work must be done to open this sector for women," he said.

Zuma said the government was aware that women entrepreneurs remained on the periphery of the national economy.

Their participation was low in this area because of poor access to business opportunities, information, financial markets and the knowledge of running a business.

"There are a number of support programmes across government departments, designed to assist women to remedy these constraints. One of these is the promotion of co-operatives especially in rural areas to enable women to participate in the economy," he said.

The ANC also called on businesses to speed up the empowerment of women.

The ruling party expressed "great concern" over the "slow pace" of empowering African women in the workplace - African women account for only 0.8% at top management level.

Democratic Alliance spokesperson Lindiwe Mazibuko said freedom from oppression was only a reality for a few "fortunate women" in South Africa.

"Women still lack satisfactory access to jobs and economic opportunity that flow from having equal access to skills development and training; women remain more at risk of contracting HIV/AIDS than men, particularly as a consequence of being denied rights over their own bodies in a deeply patriarchal society," she said.

Very bad shape

Economist Mike Schussler said women were not as active in the economy as they should be due to the high adult unemployment rate in the country.

"We have a bigger problem in South Africa. The big problem isn't women, the problem is we have the lowest adult employment rate in the world outside of a war zone," he said.

"Certainly, we are in a very bad shape, for both men and women. Because of the low adult employment rate, women in South Africa are not participating in the economy as they should be."

Schussler said South Africa had done well to empower women on the political side - but lacked on the economic side, with 40.5% of adults not working.

The National Union of Metalworkers' of SA urged women to celebrate women's day "in protest".

"Our country is amongst the most and leading unequal country in the world which manifest itself in the form of high rate of mass unemployment, deepening income inequalities, rising cost of living, ravaged by scourge of HIV/AIDS diseases, high cost of health care, grinding poverty and high cost of transportation which are a burden to the working class and poor women," said spokesperson Castro Ngobese in a statement.

He called on working class women to fight and defeat capitalism, which Numsa believed was the cause of the inequalities in South Africa.

The Inkatha Freedom Party recognised that women needed opportunities to empower themselves economically. Its president, Mangosutho Buthelezi, said South Africa needed to "help our women to help themselves".

DA Limpopo provincial leader Desiree van der Walt said women still made up 70% of those living below the poverty line.

"It is of utmost importance that our government fundamentally improves its approach to land reform. Not only must the government remove all the bureaucratic bottlenecks that hinder a successful land reform, it must make sure that the beneficiaries, especially women are fully capacitated to carry out sustainable and long term agricultural enterprises."

Comments
  • gatvol4corru - 2011-08-09 17:47

    JZ -- "not much progress". Yip,we can all agree on that. Is it true --,that the ANC & ANC youth-league runs the country? The ONLY progress,is the instant cadre millionaires & stupidity of Malema.

  • BigD - 2011-08-09 17:52

    let us have woman president then

      Nuck Choris - 2011-08-10 06:54

      No problem.... as long as she is the best candidate and not just put in that position because she is female and black

  • Agwambo - 2011-08-09 18:19

    Lindiwe Mazibuko is just a tea-girl for madam; serious people should listen to JZ. Well done Msholozi!

      eh eh eh - 2011-08-09 19:19

      Sub-human reasoning at best

      Jeffrey Jones - 2011-08-09 19:32

      I'm sure she'd rather be a tea-girl for any madam than one of JZ's numerous concubines. At least a tea-girl is a respectable job. No respectable woman would have anything to do with JZ.

      Rapier - 2011-08-09 19:34

      You could not come even close to competing with a brain like that of Lindiwe Mazibuko - even the normally arrogant Malema ducked out of debating with her as he knows that he is no match for her intellectually - when he goes to court, he has to be coached to say the right things! Zuma is not much better - he cannot even read his the speeches written for him, and they have to be written phonetically - so @Agwambo, go on believing the hogwash you are being fed, because that is exacly what the ANC wants, so they can stay in power and rape the country's finances with the amount of corruption that we ALL know is happening!

      Rapier - 2011-08-09 19:38

      You could not come even close to competing with a brain like that of Lindiwe Mazibuko - even the normally arrogant Malema ducked out of debating with her as he knows that he is no match for her intellectually - when he goes to court, he has to be coached to say the right things! Zuma is not much better - he cannot even read his the speeches written for him, and they have to be written phonetically - so @Agwambo, go on believing the hogwash you are being fed, because that is exacly what the ANC wants, so they can stay in power and rape the counntry's finances with the amount of corruption that we ALL know is happening!

      OLIBO - 2011-08-10 15:07

      Agwambo. Calling Lindiwe Mazibuko a tea-girl will not help your course nor will it change what a few people in the DA think of her. The truth is that with SA transforming you are likey to see black people behaving like her. The question is what is in it for them - ask Joe Seremane. The question we should be discussing is why are they leaving the ANC. It is true that the ANC of today has changed - we have a sitting president who can't make a decision or has no opinion on anything. With Mbeki, at least you knew his opinions even if you disagreed with him. Under Mbeki COSATU, ANCYL, DA, "pink people", all knew their place. Mbeki is a true African and would not be dictated to by the West. For the record - I cannot imagine myself voting for any white-led political party or seeing this country with a white President. Imagine a black prime minister of UK, France, or Canada.

  • HumanKind - 2011-08-09 18:33

    JZ should be the last to talk about womens' rights.

      CPII - 2011-08-09 19:29

      Yup. F**k them against their will, take a shower and walk away scott free.

      Jeffrey Jones - 2011-08-09 19:29

      You beat me to it, Humankind.

  • Lembede - 2011-08-09 18:34

    The government is not entitled to push for 50/50 proportion in aspects of gender representation be it economic or political but should seek fair margins wherever necessary to enhance the lives and skills of women in general to play a more significant role in society. People should be deployed in positions on merit, regardless of race, gender, 'age',creed or religion.

      Nuck Choris - 2011-08-10 06:52

      Lembede for president

  • Anna - 2011-08-09 18:40

    Let's start by not raping them. That's a pretty good start. Before we go into all the complicated stuff like 'economic freedom.'

      R.I.P - 2011-08-09 19:45

      So right Anna, but what would a thug like Zuma know about any kind of freedom.

  • Syndrome - 2011-08-09 19:14

    The man is like a ghost and almost never addresses the nation and then when he does, he says we need more female CEO's. It boggles the mind. How about spending some time on the huge problems we have in this country.

  • greyheron - 2011-08-09 19:25

    Call me old-fashioned, but men should be the bread-winners, and women should be at home with the kids. And is Mike Shussler saying that kids are also employable? Why does he say ADULT unemployment? Surely only adults are employable????

  • george07 - 2011-08-09 19:33

    says the rapist

  • vince muller - 2011-08-09 19:35

    What about intellegent whites?

  • R.I.P - 2011-08-09 19:38

    What ? Zuma noticed there was not enough women in his work place. Was that after he had a shower and descovered that no one stayed for breakfast.

      sipholess - 2011-08-09 22:29

      Too good !!! ARHhahahahahahahahha

  • Babba x - 2011-08-09 19:44

    Will this man think of anything to motivate the nationalisition of mines? Read between the lines. Rather fight corruption, crime etc and then when this country becomes a haven for investment jobs will be created. How dumb can they be?

  • John Paul - 2011-08-09 22:04

    Women have the right to be free from the ANC - Abortion Murder Genocide. Men have the right to be free from the ANC - Abortion Murder Genocide. Children have the right to be free from the ANC - Abortion Murder Genocide. Even Animals have the right to be free from the ANC - Abortion Murder Genocide.

  • Jim - 2011-08-10 08:41

    Based on his record, Im surprised that he made a speach on this particular subject. Hardly a role model in this field.

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