Wednesday, August 20, 2008

4th annual Woman’s Parliament, proved to be a huge success

By Cindy Witten
20 August 2008

Addressing the national assembly on the second day of Woman’s Parliament, rapporteurs reflected on previous Woman’s Parliaments.

Since 2004, women from different organisations have annually come together to discuss matters affecting women in South Africa. Topics such as: Women and education, Women and environmental affairs and Women and child trafficking were addressed. The first rapporteur added that no government can lead successfully without the support of woman.

When the topic of Women and macro economic policy was discussed, the second rapporteur heavily criticised the government’s policies and programs. She said that they failed to reach the woman who needed them the most. She added that National government cannot take all the blame and that programs should be implemented at a provincial level, saying that the private sector is not properly involved in the development of women.
She concluded that the gap needs to be bridged between the public and private sectors so that they can equally contribute to the development of woman in South Africa.

The third rapporteur addressed the topic of social movements and regional woman’s organisations in eradicating poverty. She mentioned that one of the major challenges facing social movements in South Africa is the lack of financial resources and support. Illiteracy in rural areas is a major cause for concern, but there is a lack of communication with regards to promoting programs to combat the problem, especially in the rural areas. She suggested that there be an on-going process by government to ensure that reading and writing workshops reach the grasslands and rural areas.

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