The HWSETA joined the rest of the country celebrating National Women’s Month on 09 August 2020. August represents “Women’s Month” in South Africa, we celebrate women in various capacities – women who occupy positions of leadership, women in business and women who play crucial roles in uplifting their communities.
The significance of Women’s month in the country is dedicated to the commemoration of the iconic 1956 Women’s March which saw 20 000 women march to the Union Buildings to protest against unfair pass laws. Today the march has been celebrated on 9 August each year since 1995 to recognize the important role played by women during the struggle for liberation against colonisation and apartheid.
Since the march, significant strides have been made in the advancement of ordinary women across the globe. More girls are attending school and more women are doing well for themselves while others are uplifting one another in their communities.
Afribiz foundation lead by CEO Kacha Stepanovic have embarked on a journey with HWSETA to empower and impact the life’s of hundreds of women nationwide. The training centres have seen a total of just over 780 women receiving skills and education-based training on manufacturing goods to sustain the communities. Currently centres are predominantly female based as they believe that the empowerment should be reinstalled into the female youth generation who come from previously disadvantaged backgrounds.
“Kacha – empowering a female is empowering a community, there is so much that happens when you give a woman power to stand on her own two feet. Education is the key element that need to be reinstated and they have done just that. Many women who have received the training have no previous skills and have now been able to provide for their families. Manufacturing goods for their communities and seeing change in the new generations. For instance – they have young females who have dropped out of school due to menstrual cycles and lack of sanitary support, today the very same lady is now manufacturing reusable pads, so that young females in her community won’t go through the same struggle she had to witness.
‘’We are taking production generations back to where jobs mattered the most, by eliminating new aged technology, we able to manufacture all the products by hand with easy accessible raw material and creating more job security for the women in the rural areas”, said Kacha.
Their centres are manufacturing medical grade cosmetics such as Hand Soap, Sanitizer, Body lotion, tooth paste as well as manufacturing social sustainable products such as Face Masks and Reusable Sanitary pads.
Afribiz Foundation is currently working with the Public and private sector to supply their products to the people who need it the most.
Yet despite the increased visibility for some remarkable women, millions of South African women remain invisible.
One of the biggest issues facing South African women is Gender Based violence. Women’s rights and gender-based violence have been taking centre stage in South Africa for years now, and there has been a significant increase over the years. Gender-Based-Violence (GBV) is any violent act or action directed at a person on the basis of their gender. GBV affects approximately 35% of women worldwide. Although this is a shocking statistic, it is also important to note that a significant number of people affected by GBV are physically or emotionally unable to report their cases as they feel unsafe and embarrassed to do so.
During one of the National address held on 17 June 2020 by the president of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa described Gender-based violence in South Africa a second pandemic saying it is as serious as the Coronavirus. He mentioned that at a time when the pandemic has left us all feeling vulnerable and uncertain, violence is being unleashed on women and children with a brutality that defies comprehension. ‘’These rapists and killers walk among us. They are in our communities. They are our fathers, our brothers, our sons and our friends; violent men with utterly no regard for the sanctity of human life.”
There have been many attempts to create awareness against Gender Based Violence, like the 16 Days of activism against women and children and “Am I next?’’ hashtag.
The HWSETA urges community members and organised formations to work with the law enforcement agencies by reporting all incidents of Gender Based Violence cases .Women have had a long history of oppression, but every fight gets us one step closer to freedom and equality.
Last modified: December 3, 2020