‘SA working to shift economic power into the hands of women’, says Cyril Ramaphosa
President Cyril Ramaphosa has committed to establishing the Advocacy Accelerator for Women’s Digital Financial Inclusion in Africa.
Speaking at the generation equality forum action coalition session, Ramaphosa said the initiative will mobilise stakeholders to invest in new platforms and products to increase access to digital financial products and services for women in Africa.
This would be done working in partnership with Queen Máxima of the Netherlands, the UN secretary-general’s special advocate on financial inclusion.
“Inspired by one of the pioneers of women’s empowerment in SA, we are launching the Charlotte Maxeke Women’s Initiative on Economic Justice and Rights.
“This will involve collaborative projects to increase opportunities for women and girls in the areas of entrepreneurship, leadership and diplomacy. Through these efforts, through this global acceleration plan, we are moving even closer to realising our goal of economic justice and rights for women,” Ramaphosa said.
He said SA was committed to supporting and implementing the actions contained in the Global Acceleration Plan for Economic Justice and Rights.
“Our interventions must dismantle the systemic barriers that marginalise women and girls and perpetuate inequality in the global economy. In SA, we are working to shift economic power into the hands of women through, among other things, earmarking 40% of all public procurement for women-owned businesses. On the continent, we are working towards adopting a protocol and programme of action on women in trade to promote the participation of women in the African Continental Free Trade Area,” he said.
Ramaphosa said government was working to ensure access to productive resources through financial inclusion.
He said lack of access to financial services and products disproportionately affects poorer women working in the informal sector, those without income and those who are illiterate.
“It increases vulnerability to economic shocks and may, in some cases, even increase exposure to gender-based violence. Innovation in digital financial services in Africa offers an opportunity for rapid scale-up of financial services and products,” he said.
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