- President Cyril Ramaphosa's letter to the nation on Monday touched on a matter of importance to the entire continent
- SA will use its chairmanship of the African Union to promote the empowerment of women
- Ramaphosa is adamant gender equality will never occur without economic emancipation for women
President Cyril Ramaphosa used his letter to the nation to discuss a matter of importance to Africa as a whole.
The politician aims to use the nation's chairmanship of the African Union to promote the economic empowerment of women:
"With the African Continental Free Trade Area coming into operation this year, we have an opportunity to ensure that women and women-owned businesses are able to meaningfully benefit from what will be the world’s largest common market for goods and services."
Ramaphosa is travelling to Addis Ababa this week to mark SA's ascension to the position:
"Just as there can be no real gender equality without economic emancipation for women, so too there can be no sustainable economic growth for any country unless women are full and equal participants."
The moment coincides with the closure of the African Women's Decade and the 25th anniversary of the World Conference on Women.
During the later conference, UN member countries adopted the Beijing Platform for Action, aimed at working towards greater equality and opportunity for women.
Ramaphosa says the moment is the continent's chance to take stock of the progress made thus far:
"This is an opportunity for African countries to gauge the progress they have made to protect the fundamental freedoms of women. It is also an opportunity to measure just how far we have come and what more needs to be done to broaden the economic participation of women."
Briefly.co.za gathered that the president already has identified areas that are in dire need of improvement:
"These are some of the inequalities that, together with other African countries, we aim to correct. We want to use our term as AU chair to improve women’s representation in economic and political decision-making processes in their home countries, in the AU, in the UN and in other multilateral organisations. We want policy and regulatory harmonisation across AU member countries that promote women’s participation in the labour force but also in creating pathways to self-employment for women."
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