Presidency of the Women’s Economic Assembly


Private sector, businesswomen and civil society join forces to form the Women’s Economic Assembly

The private sector, civil society and women’s organizations, businesswomen and government have come together to form the Women’s Economic Assembly (WECONA) – an initiative to facilitate the participation of women-owned businesses in key areas of the economy.

This initiative emphasizes the participation of women-owned businesses throughout the value chain in order to foster sustainable economic development.

The Assembly will be kicked off by President Cyril Ramaphosa on October 6, 2021 in a hybrid event involving businesswomen, government leaders and officials, private companies, civil society organizations and other parties stakeholders.

Futhi Mtoba, National Moderator and Co-Chair of the Women’s Economic Assembly, said: “The Assembly will activate, coordinate and monitor government and private sector actions in favor of preferential purchasing for women-owned businesses.

“The initiative seeks to connect and inspire innovation, thought leadership and action to transform value chain ecosystems, as well as to achieve a deep common understanding and detailed articulation of value chain ecosystems. sector specific value.

“This will allow businesswomen to identify entry points and opportunities for sustainable economic participation.”

The Assembly aligns with the results of Pillar 5 of the National Strategic Plan on Gender-Based Violence and Femicide. Pillar 5 calls for “the need to create more economic opportunities for women who are vulnerable to abuse due to poverty, unemployment and social inequalities”.

Recognizing that women-owned businesses still account for 1% of public procurement, while the AU’s Agenda 2063 calls for this allocation to be at least 25%, the Women’s Economic Assembly strives to contribute to substantially alleviating the plight of vulnerable sectors of our economy.

Unlocking market access through preferential purchasing has a direct multiplier effect on economic growth and improved access to income.

Women have been disproportionately affected by the economic and social fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic, primarily because the pandemic has exacerbated pre-existing structural inequalities and gender norms.

Women are also over-represented in the hardest hit sectors of the informal economy, making them vulnerable to job losses and lack of social protection. ”

Ms. Mtoba says public procurement helps start-ups in domestic industry by propelling industrial growth, ensuring technology transfer and innovation.

Preferential sourcing can help small businesses meet their goals of equitable resource allocation; enable sustainable development. and play an important role in promoting gender equality and reducing poverty.

This Assembly will facilitate the convergence of stakeholders to contribute to an economic empowerment movement for all South African women in their diversity, using innovation, creativity and thought leadership to transform the economic system.

The Women’s Economic Assembly also aims to build a long-term monitoring framework and a measurement index.

It also presents an opportunity for companies to benefit from greater equality for women, as adopted in the United Nations Global Compact on the Principles of the Empowerment of Women, in particular Principle 5, according to which companies are required to implement corporate development, supply chain and marketing practices. that empower women.

Ms. Mtoba said: “It is time that as women, who constitute 52% of the population, we played an equitable role in the human and social development of our own country. The Women’s Economic Assembly is not a one-off event but an annual national program that will be strengthened and made possible by complementary activities before and after the assembly. ”

Mr. Tyrone Seale
Acting spokesperson for the president
Email: [email protected] (link sends email)

Mr. Shalen Gajadhar
Department of Women, Youth and People with Disabilities:
Cell: 060 979 4235
Email: [email protected] (link sends email)

Ms. Reneiloe Semenya
Cell: 083 272 5895
E-mail: [email protected] (link sends e-mail)


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