Aug 192017
 
Op-Ed: Don’t forget the woman worker this August ANNIE DEVENISH SOUTH AFRICA 17 AUG 2017 11:45 (SOUTH AFRICA) This August the media will focus on women as consumers, as beneficiaries of state services, and as victims, in a much needed effort to bring attention to gender-based violence, but it is important that we don’t forget women as workers, because it’s precisely the invisibility and undervaluing of women’s labour that plays a key role in reinforcing gender inequality. By ANNIE DEVENISH Xolisile Mhlongo is already setting up stall by the time Durban’s mynah birds begin chirping on a weekday summer morning. She arrives at Warwick Junction, a busy transport hub near Durban inner city, at 4.30am every day to prepare the meat and dumplings she sells to passing customers. Across South Africa, in urban and rural centres, at taxi ranks and pedestrian thoroughfares, traders like Mhlongo are setting up shop for the day ahead. They are part of the more than 530,000 street traders recorded by the South African Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS), 70% of whom are women. Mhlongo works six days a week, commuting from her family home in KwaMashu, a township about 20kms from the city centre. Working long hours, often without adequate toilets and storage facilities, and sometimes in hostile environments facing theft or police harassment, these women generate vital income to support their families and their children’s education. This August the media will focus on women as consumers, as beneficiaries of state services, and as victims, in a much needed effort to bring attention to gender-based violence, but it is important that we don’t forget women as workers, because it’s precisely the invisibility and undervaluing of women’s labour that plays a key role in reinforcing gender inequality. According to Stats SA there are 9,438,000 economically active women in the labour force as of 2015, which means that they constitute almost 50% of the nearly 21 million economically active South Africans. The term economically active includes both people who are working, and those who want to work, but are unemployed. Like Mhlongo, more than a third – 39 % in fact – of employed women work in the informal sector, compared to 29% of employed men. Statistics South Africa’s definition of informal employment includes all workers in the informal sector. Employers, own-account workers and unpaid family workers are defined as being in the informal sector if the (more…)
Dec 012016
 
WOMENAID INTERNATIONAL CHILDREN OF THE WORLD INITIATIVE At the beginning of the 21st Century the children of the world are facing an undeclared assault upon their childhood as they suffer as a result of poverty, sexual exploitation, abuse as well as becoming the innocent victims of wars and the HIV/AIDS epidemics.Ten years ago the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child was adopted and the UN Secretary General has stated “we have no higher priority, no prouder achievement, than our work for the rights of children!” A few facts indicate it may be a little early “for we the people” to be proud of our achievement: 12 million children die before reaching their fifth year 100 million homeless children living in the streets around the world. 250,000 children die every week from diseases and malnutrition. 2 million children are objects of sexual abuse – child pornography and demand for  child prostitutes has increased globally. 20 million children are refugees or internally displaced in their homeland. 10 million children are child slaves Millions of girls are ‘missing’ as a result of foeticide, infanticide and neglect.    Millions of children are being orphaned as their parents die of AIDS related illnesses.The figures are unimaginable – already 11 million children in sub-Saharan Africa alone have been orphaned by the AIDS epidemic and reliable sources estimate that by 2010 there will be more than 30 million children orphaned by AIDS decimating parents. Millions more are being orphaned by poverty and war. The most defenceless victims of the savagery of war are children who are terrorized, often sexually abused, mutilated, forced to participate in killing or enrolled as child soldiers.Ethnic wars target children as they represent the future and in the last 10 years alone 1.5 million children have died in wars. Long after war is over children continue to be traumatized by their brutal experience and to be at risk as the hundreds of thousands of landmines left as a deadly legacy of war continue to maim or kill 800 children each month. Millions of children live their entire childhood in refugee camps. In many countries orphans are considered as outcasts.Throughout the world millions of children are kept in grossly sub-standard orphanages and other institutions, suffering from inadequate food, clothing, medical care, lack of stimulation and neglect.Medical care for orphans is limited and basic medical supplies are scarce. Every week 250,000 children die – victims of avoidable (more…)
Mar 112011
 
A tribute to women and the power of a single individual to change the world. Each of us has something we can contribute; to others and ourselves.   httpv://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bYdCSli-fOM&feature=youtube_gdata_player Share this:FacebookLinkedInTwitterGoogleTumblrPinterestReddit (more…)