14 August 2017

South Africa: MECs Albert Fritz and Alan Winde Launch Women Empowerment Collaboration As Part of Women Month

press release

As part of our ongoing commemoration of Women's Month, the Western Cape Ministers of Social Development (DSD) and Economic Opportunities have launched a joint skills, training and economic opportunity programme called the Women Empowerment Initiative.

The Women's Empowerment Initiative was launched by Minister Albert Fritz and Minster Alan Winde during a joint visit to the Sister Incorporated shelter for women, on Friday (11 August 2017).

The Initiative will provide skills, training and economic opportunities to 310 women currently with our 16 funded shelters for abused women. A referral pathway will be developed through the DSD Victim Empowerment Programme (VEP).

Through this joint initiative, the Western Cape Government seeks to help abused women break the cycle of economic dependence on the very persons who may be abusing them. The Women Empowerment Initiative will achieve this by empowering women with the skills and training that enables them to find employment or start their own businesses.

The Departments of Economic Development & Tourism and Agriculture will establish a link to DSD and the network of shelters. During the launch, Economic Opportunities Minister, Alan Winde, said:

"This partnership will create a pathway to economic opportunities for women at shelters. Our number one goal is the creation of opportunities for growth and jobs, and we are committed to expanding access to our programmes to all residents. Through this initiative, I would like to see us connecting more residents to facilities such as our Barn Khayelitsha and the ICAN (Interactive Community Access Network) centre in Elsies River. To ensure that aspiring businesswomen have access to the support they need, we will also link them to our Emerging Business Support Programme. It is my hope that we are able to make a meaningful difference in the lives of the women, and their families."

The Department of Social Development has a growing network of 16 funded shelters across the province, and invests R31.7-million in services for victims of gender-based violence and human trafficking.

Issued by: Western Cape Social Development

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