August sees South Africa celebrating Women’s Month, commemorating more than 20 000 women who marched to the union Buildings on 9 August 1956 in protest against the extension of Pass Laws to women. A system aimed at controlling women even further by reducing them to passive beings, at the mercy of men. This year’s theme is called “25 years of Democracy: Growing South Africa Together for Women’s Emancipation.
Bonga High School Girls Club with Coach Thandie Mkhwanazi(left) and coach Phindile Manqele(right)
Daughters of Africa(DoA) is one of the Star for life project that aims to contribute to the United nations sustainable development goals number 1 and 5 and that is to achieve gender equality and end poverty by 2030. To empower young teenage girls to know their sexual health rights. For them to be proud of their womanhood, thereby building a strong self-esteem, insuring that they are never victims of gender-based violence. The project aims to end a generation of woman who are poverty stricken by introducing entrepreneurship education to girls through Girls’ clubs in schools. These girls’ clubs operate in 13 schools in Umkhanyakude district. They meet twice a week with a life skills coach where they learn on different topics that are in the designed manual. The topics tackled are on sexual health rights and gender-based violence, and a qualified entrepreneurship development coach trains them on entrepreneurship, using a designed manual.
Although in many countries women are achieving equality in health outcomes and primary school enrolment rates, the world has not seen the same kind of progress in gender equity in economic opportunities. Women are still behind in the labour force participation, income levels and entrepreneurship. Evidence shows that putting economic resources in women’s hands is the best way to accelerate development and substantially reduce poverty.
If we empower our girls when they are still in high school with these skills, we will surely end poverty and have strong communities in the coming years.
A DoA Girls Seminar will be held on the 30th of August 2019 with the theme, “the most important thing a girl can wear is her confidence”, with the purpose of fulfilling the above goals.