The Deputy Minister of Trade, Industry and Competition, Ms Nomalungelo Gina says no sectors of the economy must be allowed to be male-dominated, and that conscious efforts to include women participants as key players should be made.
She was speaking during a Women in Business webinar hosted by the Commission for Gender Equality today.
The webinar, which was held under the theme “Removing Barriers to Women’s Economic Empowerment”, provided a platform where ideas were ventilated regarding challenges that women businesses face, on financial exclusion, funding opportunities and solutions to women economic empowerment challenges.
Gina pointed out that the recent looting of businesses in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal will have a compounding effect on women businesses that were already under the grip of Covid-19 pandemic.
“We therefore must ensure that during the economic reconstruction and recovery process no women-owned businesses must be excluded. Also, we are in the last rounds of public comments on the Policy on Social and Solidarity Economy, which will give recognition to commercial strength in various and social activities such as stokvels and burial societies, to name a few. We are saying that gone are the day where these establishments are only good for placing their money only to disburse the funds amongst themselves during the festive season. Now is the time where these institutions must invest and acquire their own assets,” she said.
Gina extended a call to the banking sector to ensure that they assist these women establishments to create their own portfolios of diversity in their collective interests.
“As government, there is more that we need to do compared to what we have achieved thus far. It is good that we have immediately ensured that as we negotiate sector masterplans we strongly advance women participation as part of our policy targets in all sectors, thereby closing all those policy gaps that are having. It is great that we are already moving with speed in closing these policy gaps again in the green economy space by ensuring bold women, bias policies and making sure that these policies are articulated and measured,” said Gina.