Women Empowerment

Here’s why women’s month is an opportunity for economic development

Women are not only mothers, wives and caregivers in their own family; they also play the biggest role in economic development. Women’s contribution in training and empowering others has also grown, expanding their care and support to the country at large.

In South Africa, women’s hard earned recognition started on 9th August 1956, a period in time that saw more than 20 000 women unite at the Union Buildings in Pretoria to challenge that a woman’s place is  ‘everywhere’ – not only in the kitchen.

The protest included the fight against all laws that oppressed women and laws that saw decisions made for them by men. These women were led by strong leaders we recognise and respect today.  Lillian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Albertina Sisulu and Sophia William De Bruyn. 

Women's month

We need to recognise important contributions women make and stop to ponder on the advances in women’s rights.

Today, the 9th of August is celebrated as Women’s Day to recognise the courage and commitment women showed (and continue to commit to), to change the future of women in South Africa. 

“Now you have touched the women, you have struck a rock”

This is an opportunity for women to empower each other to increase their value 10-fold. Our work includes the ability to empower millions of women with digital skills.

The influence of women’s month on the economy:

Lindiwe Zulu, Minister of Social Development, supports the aspirations of women wanting to enter the marketplace. In an interview featured on the gov.za forum, Zulu said women should start looking for training programs and courses to develop their skills.

“We want women to take advantage of these training programs. Women’s month could be the solution to reduce unemployment and inequality, as well as poverty” said Lindiwe Zulu.

Women are powerful economic drivers. Evidence provided by a campaign called Let’s Grow South Africa, shows that when women join the labour force both in developing and developed countries, in particular as entrepreneurs, the gross domestic product (GDP) increases tremendously.

The Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities further aims to address these key concerns that prevent women from having access to opportunities by putting measures in place to promote young women over the next decade.

What is economic development and how do women empower growth?

The words ‘economic development’ sounds like they’re only relevant to businessmen and investors.
Economic development is actually meant for everyone. The same for economic growth. In most cases, many confuse economic growth and development because they have similar meanings and are often used interchangeably but they’re two different economic terms.

The Key Difference explains this in laymen terms, where economic growth reflects the positive change in the real output of the country in a particular span of time – with quantitative data.


Women's economic development


Economic development is not about numbers but instead measures early childhood education, social welfare, skills development and training with qualitative data. So when women empower others to develop their skills and increase their knowledge, in our case through online courses and training, they grow the value of women in the marketplace.

This enhances development and access to resources. Resources which were previously only limited to mostly men.

To summarise, here’s how women’s month can contribute to economic development:

  • Women’s month encourages women to empower one another, through success stories and skills development and training.
  • Enhancing and growing women’s participation through training and development is a great solution to reduce poverty.
  • Research done by the World Bank Group proves that women’s economic development also increases child support and child survival.

Women should not be denied access to participate in economic development.  It does not matter whether it’s in the form of getting a job, building your career or creating multiple streams of income from the comfort of your home.

This means even stay at home moms can participate in the growth of economic development. The only prerequisite to participate is to take advantage of skills development programmes.

Please don’t forget to leave your comment below and share this post on social media with those who might benefit and continue developing their skills with Change News Digital.

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 – Phumzile Ntjana