Hundreds of people from across South Africa are currently tuning in to a live Women’s Month webinar hosted by agriculture, land reform and rural development minister Thoko Didiza.
The webinar focuses on the role of women in the country’s dynamic agricultural sector. It will also address issues of land reform as well as opportunities available for women in terms of access to markets, land and finance.
Facilitated by Dawn Noemdoe, editor: audience and engagement at Food For Mzansi, the webinar features an impressive speaker line-up. This includes Gloria Mosito, who manages beneficiary selection and allocation for government, as well as Dr Jemina Moeng, the chief director responsible or food security and agrarian reform.
The participation of Elder Mtshiza, the programme manager responsible for blended finance, CASP and Ilima/Letsema, has also been confirmed along with Dr Mpho Maja, the director responsible for animal health. Also, Fhumhlani Ratshitanga, the chief executive of Fruit SA, will speak on her organisation’s role in uplifting women in rural communities.
Access to decision-making forums
Earlier this week, Najwa Allie-Edries, who heads up the programme management office at the Jobs Fund, said it is essential to acknowledge women’s contribution to society, the economy and unpaid care work – raising children, families and communities.
“At 32.6%, South Africa has one of the highest unemployment rates in the world. Amongst women, this rate increases to 34%.
“This is why the Jobs Fund focuses on women and youth in particular, with these groups making up the majority of project beneficiaries. To date, the fund has contracted 146 projects that have created more than 280 000 jobs, 58% of which are filled by women,” said Allie-Edries.
The impact of inequality in access to resources is not just a South African or African challenge but a global one with implications at an individual, family, community, national and international level.
Evidence from various studies testify to the range of economic and positive social impact generated by improvements in women’s access to and control over resources and increased opportunities.
Despite this, women remain absent from crucial decision-making forums that shape the allocation of economic and financial resources and opportunities, further perpetuating gender inequality. Having more women in decision-making positions can contribute to more inclusive workplace cultures.