Tebogo Molefe is the Manager of CSI at the IDC
One of our CSI focus areas at the IDC (Industrial Development Corporation) is entrepreneurship development, with a special focus on women. According to the National Development Plan 2030, which is a long-term plan to address poverty and inequality in South Africa by 2030, women are most affected by inequality, poverty, and unemployment.
This, potentially, gets women into all kinds of unfortunate situations, and they often have to depend on a partner or a spouse to get by. Gender-based violence was highlighted during the Covid-19 lockdowns, illustrating that many women unfortunately cannot escape an abusive partner, because they are just not able to take care of themselves.
Uplifting and empowering women is the first step towards helping to fight this gender-based violence scourge in our country, but in doing so, it will also benefit our communities as a whole. Research shows that women tend to be more altruistic than men, and that they often use their own resources to benefit others as well. Studies have shown that when grandmothers receive old-age grants, their grandchildren eat better, and that they are also likely to use loans to pay for things that their communities need.
In many ways, women are the backbone of our society, and although government, corporates and NGOs do a lot to uplift women in our country, I believe we can still do more to ensure that girls are educated, and that women are supported in business.