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Press release: Women should fully benefit from social protection mechanisms

March 14, 2019

Press Release

Wednesday, 13th March 2019

WOMEN SHOULD CLAIM, DEFEND THEIR RIGHTS AND FULLY BENEFIT FROM THE VARIOUS SOCIAL PROTECTION MECHANISMS IN THEIR COUNTRIES

WOMEN’s rights organisations from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) have called upon women in the region to assert themselves and claim their rights by fully participating in the various social protection mechanisms provided by both the public and the private sectors, as a means of empowerment. This is according to a study report themed, “Transforming Social Protection for Women’s Empowerment” released on Wednesday, 13th March 2019 on the sidelines of the ongoing 63rd Commission on the Status of Women Conference in New York.  “While the informal sector is a key component of each country’s economy, it comprises mostly workers who are self-employed or who work for those who are self-employed. Given the nature of poverty in Southern Africa, the informal sector is dominated by women,” reads the report in part. 

The regional women’s organisations have therefore urged Governments to harmonise and put in place policy measures that would enhance women’s access to social security mechanism.  They have called on Governments to enforce, review and update laws and policies to ensure women’s equal representation and participation in leadership in social protection governance structures“Civil Society, trade unions and development partners should invest and ensure women’s equal participation and inclusion in all social protection intervention design and implementation,” reads the report. Further, the organisations have urged the private Sector to ensure that their business models are risk averse towards women and their corporate social responsibility resources are channeled to address social protection risks that women are exposed to.The women’s organisations have urged the media as a key player to ensure that they undertake public awareness on women centered social protection mechanisms and visibility of women leaders working in social protection systems “Women should take up leadership opportunities, assert, claim, enjoy and defend their rights and fully participate in social protection governance structures at all levels,” it reads.

ISSUED BY;

Non-governmental Gender Organisations Coordinating Council (Zambia)
Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe (Zimbabwe)
Women’s Legal and Resource Centre (Malawi)
Lifeline/Childline (Namibia)
Botswana Council of Non-governmental Organisations (Botswana)

Editor’s Note: This year’s CSW priority theme is “social protection systems, access to public services and sustainable infrastructure for gender equality and empowerment of women and girls. The regional study was supported by CUTS International through OSISA and HIVOS

Contact: Women’s Coalition of Zimbabwe coalition@zol.co.zw / +263-242-707750/65/66