Only R10m out of R50bn budget for women

By Michael Nkalane Time of article published Sep 15, 2016

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MINISTER of Women in the Presidency Susan Shabangu says R10 million set aside to start a business out of a R50 billion budget was unfair and bordered on patriarchal beliefs that women were lesser humans with no capacity.

The Department of Trade and Industry has allocated R10 million to the Isivande Women’s Fund, which aims to accelerate women's economic empowerment.

“Asiyifuni (we don’t want it). It means women are only good for baking because that is the only business you can get funds for out of that.

"It means you cannot own a construction company or a big corporate company because your budget is limited.

"How can a gender that accounts for 52 percent of the population be allocated such a small amount?” asked 
Shabangu.

She was speaking at a 
consultative round table on a Sustainable Development Goal Five event organised by the Ilitha Labantu NGO at the Cape Town Lodge Hotel 
yesterday.

Its theme was “Achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls”.

About 50 women, some from as far as Venda and the Free State, listened attentively as Shabangu outlined the 
mandate of her department.

“My mission is to fast-track the 2020 vision of creating jobs for all women to bridge the inequality gap.

"We live in a patriarchal society where everything is about appeasing men, while we settle for second best or nothing.

"Women constitute 52 percent of the population but occupy the bottom ladder in the economy. How are we changing lives of women? That is where my department comes in,” she said.

Commission for Gender Equality chairperson Mfanolezwe Shozi said the country was not doing enough to implement the National Development Plan’s gender transformation agenda.

“Unless we have a legislation making sure we adhere to a 50-50 quota, we will never achieve gender equality,” he said.

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