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Women still suffering: Xingwana

Johannesburg - Discrimination and violation of human rights remain a harsh reality for most women in the country, Women Minister Lulama Xingwana said on Wednesday.

“Women continue to be marginalised and discriminated against in terms of economic opportunities, the labour market as well as access to land, credit, and finance.”

Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities Lulu Xingwana. Photo: Etienne Creux. Credit: INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPERS

She said the department was promoting opportunities for women in rural, peri-urban and informal settlements to participate in green economy projects such as solar energy, water purification, agriculture, construction, waste management and tourism.

“The department will continue to encourage companies and organisations of women to register on government entities' and departments' supply chain databases,” she said at the launch of women's month in Pretoria.

“We are also facilitating financial support and training for women farmers and women's co-operatives with our national and international partners.”

Xingwana said a process of developing women's empowerment and gender equality policy that would lead to the Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill was at an advanced stage.

“The national policy is proposing guidelines for promoting women's empowerment and gender equality. The draft bill will be tabled before Cabinet during the 2012/13 financial year,” she said.

“This will help enforce compliance in both government and the private sector.”

The month of August was declared women's month as a tribute to the women who marched on August 9, 1956 to protest against the extension of pass laws. - Sapa

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