Women are suffering, says Lulu Xingwana
Wants opportunities for women in rural, peri-urban and informal settlements
DISCRIMINATION and violation of human rights remain a harsh reality for most women in South Africa, says Minister for Women, Children and People with Disabilities Lulu Xingwana.
"Women continue to be marginalised and discriminated against in terms of economic opportunities, the labour market as well as access to land, credit, and finance," Xingwana said.
She said her department was promoting opportunities for women in rural, peri-urban and informal settlements to participate in green economy projects such as solar energy, water purification, agriculture, construction, waste management and tourism.
"We will continue to encourage women's companies and organisations to register on government entities' and departments' supply chain databases," she said at the launch of Women's Month in Pretoria.
"We are also facilitating financial support and training for women farmers and women's co-operatives with our national and international partners."
Xingwana said a process of developing women's empowerment and gender equality policy that would lead to the Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill was at an advanced stage.
"The policy is proposing guidelines for promoting women's empowerment and gender equality. The draft bill will be tabled before Cabinet during the 2012/13 financial year," she said.
"This will help enforce compliance in both government and the private sector." August was declared women's month as a tribute to the women who marched on August 9, 1956 to protest against the extension of pass laws.