WoSA demands women’s inclusion in mainstream economy with a march on Friday

National News

02 December 2020

Staff Reporter/PretoriaLIVE

PRETORIA – Women’s grievances in South Africa and across the African continent will take center stage on Friday when thousands of women, organized by the movement Women of South Africa take to the streets in marches taking place amidst the global 16 Days of Activism For No Violence Against And Children campaign.

WoSA spokesperson Staff Sithole said the marches, taking place in different provinces on Friday, are aimed at placing women’s economic freedom at the top of the national agenda.

“Through this march the Women of South Africa says to both the government and the private sector: we demand decisive action to ensure that more women are involved in economic participation,” said Sithole.

She added that WoSA is currently engaging liked-minded organizations across the country and the continent to join the march because “our challenges as South African women are their challenges as African women.”

“As women, we need to push for a shift in the narrative of our role in the economy. We have to work hard to reshape the ‘victim’ narrative and encourage more women to demand their place in the South African economy,” she said.

Among other demands, WoSA is demanding the establishment of an Annual Gender Barometer to measure the extent to which women are at the centre of the South African economy.

“We are further calling for the enactment of laws promoting gender equality, and criminalizing the current gender wage gap. WoSA demands that it should be a criminal offence in South Africa, and in Africa, to pay women less than men for the same job. In fact, because women carry the bigger burden of responsibility in African society, they should be paid more than men,” said Sithole.

The WoSA campaign is also pushing for an urgent increase of funding to women-owned businesses by commercial banks, development funding institutions (DFIs), the government and its agencies, and other financiers.

“All these demands are aimed at ensuring that South African women get their 51.2 percent economic dividend,” Sithole said.

Since launching WoSA in August 2020, women from all walks of life have been requested to show support for the movement by signing a petition on the movement’s website, with the intention to highlight “izikhalo zamakhosikazi” [women’s complaints].

While the signatures petition is gaining rapid momentum, it is WoSA’s believe that the march will also attract the same support and numbers.

The marches on Friday will see groups of women in every province embark on a simultaneous demonstration to raise various issues which are holding back their ability to participate meaningfully in the country’s economy.

Participants of the march will include women from different walks of life – community members, and different formations in the political, social, religious, business and NGO spheres.

The provincial details of the march, including venues and time have been provided to PretoriaLIVE by WoSA as follows:

Province: Gauteng

City: Johannesburg

Venue: JSE and IDC

Time: 10am

Info: Meet at Sandton Convention Centre, on Maude Street and march to the Industrial Development Corporation (IDC) on Grayston Drive.

Province: Gauteng

City: Tshwane

Destination: Union Buildings

Time: 10am

Info: Meet at Department of Women, 36 Hamilton Street and march to the Union Buildings

Province: Western Cape

City: Cape Town

Destination: Parliament of South Africa

Time: 10am

Info: Meeting point is Parliament

Province: Kwazulu-Natal

City: Durban

Destination: Ithala (IDFC)

Time: 10am

Info: Meet at Ithala Trade Centre, 29 Canal Quay, Point Waterfront, Durban

Province: Eastern Cape

City: East London

Destination: Eastern Cape Development Corporation (ECDC)

Time: 10am

Info: Meet at ECDC, Ocean Terrace Park, Moore Street, Quigney East London

Province: Limpopo

City: Polokwane

Destination: Limpopo Economic Development Agency (LEDA)

Time: 10am

Info: Meet at LEDA, 8 Schoeman Street, Polokwane

Province: Mpumalanga

City: Nelspruit/Mbombela

Destination: Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency (MEGA)

Time: 10am

Info: Meet at MEGA, ABSA Square Building, 20 Paul Kruger Street, Mbombela

Province: Northern Cape

City: Kimberly

Destination: Northern Cape Economic Development Agency (NCEDA)

Time: 10am

Info: Meet at NCEDA, DSC Building, 69 Memorial Road, Kimberly

Province: North West

City: Mahikeng

Destination: North West Development Corporation (NWDC)

Time: 10am

Info: Meet at NWDC, 22 James Watt Crescent, Industrial Mahikeng

Province: Free State

City: Bloemfontein

Destination: Free State Development Corporation (FDC)

Time: 10am

Info: Meet at FDC, 33 Kellner Str, Bloemfontein