President Cyril Ramaphosa has engaged in the Business Women’s Association of South Africa (BWASA) dialogue, with women across South Africa under the theme “The Economy is Woman”; and Ramaphosa has touched on work place sexual harassment, and urges women to speak out on it, including the lack of transformation and other forms gender-based violence.
“Sexual harassment in the workplace is still a huge challenge”
The President further stated that women should continue agitating for the attainment of a non-racist and non-sexist South Africa, and mobilise for the cause of women
“Sexual harassment in the workplace is still a huge challenge. We have to raise a new level of consciousness among our men. Men must treat women with dignity and honour, and not see them as mere objects. Women must know that their rights are promoted, protected and advanced. South Africa seeks to create a country where women are safe dignity and they will not be humiliated by being subjected to rape, violence and femicide.”
Ramaphosa has urged woment to take up opportunities offered by the ACFTA
The BWASA Presidential Dialogue allows the President to engage on government’s initiatives to empower women and place them as “equal participants” at the centre of economic activity, and Ramaphosa has pledged his allegiance to the empowerment of women, and stated he is “willing to do whatever it takes” to advance this cause.
“We need more women-led businesses in manufacturing. The African Continental Free Trade Agreement is opening up a lot of opportunities across Africa. Women must participate in our business forums, and trade their goods and services. The governing party insists on gender parity across all our structures. We want to empower women, including in the private sector, to actively participate in decision making structures and play a key role.”
What is the Business Women’s Association of South Africa?
The dialogue is organised by the Business Women’s Association of South Africa (BWASA), an association of business and professional women in South Africa, focused on initiatives targeted at women entrepreneurs and women within the corporate SA and other sectors.
The association has been a voice of women in business within the South African economy since 1980, and the President’s participation brings context to the sixth administration’s seven priorities, focusing on economic transformation and job creation.
The President states that government is prepared to do anything necessary to advance women owned enterprises, and further echoes that the government needs to be biased towards women led businesses, and open markets to ease the trade for women, as many have complained about the red tape within government.