Cyril Ramaphosa

South African government is working to empower women to actively participate in decision making structures, grow their businesses and to make women feel safe in the country, said the President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Ramaphosa was addressing the women across the country on pertinent issues that affect women and their role and contribution to the economy in Johannesburg on Tuesday.

He said the government and the ruling African National Congress have policies to uplift women.

“The Cabinet have taken a conscious decision to have gender parity. The governing party insists on gender parity across all our structures. We want to empower women, including in the private sector, to actively participate in decision-making structures and play a key role,” said Ramaphosa.

He encouraged the private sector to promote women to higher positions. He expressed unwavering commitment to women empowerment.

He said that “I am irrevocably committed to the empowerment of women and I am prepared to do everything it takes to advance the cause of women in this country. We want to open markets for women-led business. As a government we have said our budgets have to be gender sensitive. We will discriminate in favor of women.”

Ramaphosa mentioned that the African Continental Free Trade Agreement presents opportunities for women. He said women should be involved in manufacturing and produce goods which would be sold in other African countries.

Businesswomen’s Association of South Africa (Bwasa) who convened the event called on the government and private sector to support women in the country.

Bwasa’s President Basetsana Kumalo said the survey they did in 2017 showed that in companies listed at the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, women held 11 percent CEO roles, 21 percent director roles and 29 percent executive management roles.

“We are concerned about this. We believe in you (the president) to take us to the next level leading to where we want to be. We want to partner you, work with you to make this country a great nation,” said Kumalo. Enditem

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