This year’s International Women’s Day is commemorated under the theme “Be Bold For Change”, a call on all global citizens to help forge a more inclusive, gender equal world.
International Women’s Day celebrates the social, economic, cultural and political achievement of women. Yet progress has slowed in many places across the world, so global action is needed to accelerate gender parity. In 2016 leaders across the world pledged to take action as champions of gender parity – not only for International Women’s Day, but for every day.
As the world commemorates International Women’s Day, Brand South Africa and Owami Women have called on South Africans to play their part in the development and empowerment of women.
Commemorated annually on 8 March, International Women’s Day seeks to celebrate the social, economic, cultural and political achievements of women.
Brand South Africa and Owami Women, a women empowerment stakeholder of Brand South Africa, called on South African businesses, government and civil society to increase women economic empowerment initiatives to ensure equitable access to opportunities.
Founder of Owami Women, Bridget Nkuna, said the growth and development of a nation depends extensively on the empowerment of its women.
“Our quest as a nation for inclusive economic growth, including the empowerment of women, the youth, and other members of vulnerable groups should be designed to help us achieve the type of society where everyone has a better life,” said Nkuna.
In South Africa, women constitute a large proportion of the economically challenged, particularly in rural areas. The National Development Plan (NDP) acknowledges this by taking gender, along with race and geographic location into account by proposing a range of measures to advance women’s equality.
Brand South Africa’s CEO, Dr Kingsley Makhubela, said through various women development and empowerment initiatives, South Africa has begun to undo the dire conditions that marginalised women under apartheid.
“Our pro women policies and established institutions dedicated to women have over the years facilitated their economic development.
“The political will and leadership demonstrated by the South African government through the NDP 2030 underscores precisely what is required to help us reach our women and to reinvigorate them to partake in the socio-economic development pursuit of our nation,” said Makhubela.