A shop owned by this Ethiopian national in Springs. The Southern African Institute of Learning said it would be providing free small, medium and micro-enterprises (SMME) development training. Picture: Bongiwe Mchunu

CAPE TOWN - The Southern African Institute of Learning (SAIL) on Monday said it would be providing free small, medium and micro-enterprises (SMME) development training to almost 2,000 rural women in an effort to develop participation of women in the economic sphere.

In a statement, SAIL said its 1956 Women’s Business Empowerment programme which will be launched on Thursday in Johannesburg will commemorate the 1956 women’s march to the Union Buildings. The programmed is mainly aimed at rural women.

According to UNICEF, women make up two-thirds of the world's illiterate population, with a vast majority of these women living in rural areas. Women in rural areas spend more time on household work and bringing up families. This life of virtual servitude is perpetuated by poor rural infrastructure and systemic patriarchy which hinders the development and participation of women in the economic sphere.

Image: sail-edu.co.za

“Since unemployment is one the greatest challenges in our country, the development of SMMEs is critical. That’s why SAIL is offering to equip 1,956 women with the skills to run a successful business via our 1956 Women’s Business Empowerment Programme,” said SAIL.

- African News Agency (ANA)