Back to top

Remarks by President Cyril Ramaphosa at the Generation Equality Forum Action Coalition Session

Honourable Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Executive Director of UN Women,
Excellencies,
Heads of Organisations,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
 
We are brought together in this forum by a shared determination that no woman should be denied the rights, opportunities and resources required for a secure, just and prosperous life.
 
South Africa is committed to both supporting and implementing the actions contained in the Global Acceleration Plan for Economic Justice and Rights.
 
Our interventions must dismantle the systemic barriers that marginalise women and girls and perpetuate inequality in the global economy.
 
In South Africa, we are working to shift economic power into the hands of women through, among other things, earmarking 40 per cent of all public procurement for women-owned businesses.
 
On the continent, we are working towards adopting a Protocol and Programme of Action on Women in Trade to promote the participation of women in the African Continental Free Trade Area. 
 
We are working to ensure access to productive resources through financial inclusion.
 
Lack of access to financial services and products disproportionately affects poorer women working in the informal sector, those without income and those who are illiterate. 
 
It increases vulnerability to economic shocks and may, in some cases, even increase exposure to gender-based violence.
 
Innovation in digital financial services in Africa offers an opportunity for rapid scaleup of financial services and products.
 
Working in partnership with Queen Maxima, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Advocate on Financial Inclusion, we are committed to establishing the Advocacy Accelerator for Women’s Digital Financial Inclusion in Africa.
 
This initiative will mobilise stakeholders to invest in new platforms and products to increase access to digital financial products and services for women in Africa.
 
Inspired by one of the pioneers of women’s empowerment in South Africa, we are launching the Charlotte Maxeke Women’s Initiative on Economic Justice and Rights.
 
This will involve collaborative projects to increase opportunities for women and girls in the areas of entrepreneurship, leadership and diplomacy.
 
Through these efforts, through this Global Acceleration Plan, we are moving ever closer to realising our goal of economic justice and rights for women.
 
I thank you.