Delegates gather in Durban for Forbes Women Africa Summit

delegates gather in durban for forbes women africa summit - Delegates gather in Durban for Forbes Women Africa Summit

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A lot still needs to be done to ensure that women have an equal role in society. That’s the sentiment from the 4th summit of Forbes Woman Africa:Leading Women Summit that was held in Durban. The summit also coincided with International Womens’ Day. Delegates came from all walks of life to tackle challenges facing women.

Some of the continent’s most influential women in business, sports, science, entertainment and leadership engaged each other under the theme ” New Wealth Creators.

 

They had a frank discussion about women issues. While some agreed a lot has been done to empower women to thrive, others are still making calls to fight inequality. Chairperson of Board of the Industrial Development Corporation, Busi Mabuza, says South Africa is not benefiting enough from being part of Brics countries.

 

Mabuza says South Africa needs to produce and process more products, to fully benefit from being part of the Brics grouping.

“We cant just be exporting raw products which are cheaper. we need to make sure that we have beneficial value added products. so that we can get the bigger slice of the pie. What’s most important is that those economies are so large that is we just are looking to export from one small factory in Umbilo than we are not even going to make a dent there. Which is why I believe its so important that we start taking advantage of the Africa continental Trade Agreement to build bigger value chains so that when we export to the Brics countries we do in scale size we will be noticed by those trading partners.”

Supermodel, Naomi Campbell, says girls need to be educated to acquire skills and get jobs to earn a decent living. As the summit coincides with International Women’s Day, the supermodel believes there should be more than one International Women’s day.

“We have to keep girls in school. We have to keep them educated so that they can learn a skill , get proper jobs and be independent. We don’t want them to rely on any one. Wwith working with UNAIDS we lose 50 girls each day from HIV and from across the sub Saharan continent we lose 460 get infected daily. We need to also teach in the schools about being safe, about protecting oneself so that we can lower the numbers on this continent.”

Meanwhile, Minister in the Presidency for the National Planning Commission for Policy and Evaluation, Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma says there should be policies that are aimed at empowering women. She called on women to come together and organise themselves to be able to influence policies that are made.

“We have to ensure that the policies are in place. We have to make sure that women themselves are organised because the people who make decisions at the moment are mot mainly women. They are men. But its also important for us as women to understand that one swallow does not break a summer. If one is at the top and the rest of the women are still down there it doesn’t make a difference. And so if you are up there try and bring as many up with you.”

Women have been encouraged to support and empower each other. They were also encouraged to collaborate and work together.

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