“Our interventions must dismantle the systemic barriers that marginalise women and girls and perpetuate inequality in the global economy,” President Ramaphosa said.
Addressing the Generation Equality Forum Action Coalition Session virtually, he said South Africa is working to shift economic power into the hands of women through, among other things, earmarking 40 percent 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. We are working to ensure access to productive resources through financial inclusion.
“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,” President Ramaphosa said.
Innovation in digital financial services in Africa offers an opportunity for rapid scale-up of financial services and products.
“Working in partnership with Queen Maxima, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate on Financial Inclusion, we are committed to establishing the Advocacy Accelerator for Women’s Digital Financial Inclusion in Africa,” President 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.
“Through these efforts, through this Global Acceleration Plan, we are moving ever closer to realising our goal of economic justice and rights for women,” the President said.
The Generation Equality Forum (GEF) is a global gathering to accelerate gender equality actions and mark the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action.
It is convened by United Nations Women and co-hosted by the governments of Mexico and France, in partnership with co-leaders from the Global South and Global North, civil society and the private sector.
South Africa participated actively in the negotiations for the Global Acceleration Plan (GAP) of the Economic Justice and Rights Action Coalition, which presents a clear action plan of commitments and actions that stakeholders must take to advance economic justice and rights.–SAnews