Africa Unite would like to take this opportunity to thank three members of the non-profit organization of Social Utility “Seniores Italia Partners per lo Sviluppo”: Mr. Giorgio Bertini, Mr. Umberto Del Canuto, and Ms.Olga Jazzarelli. Each independently donated funds to implement Women’s Skills Development Project. This donation will change the lives of many women in the townships. Thank you!
Between November 2011 and April 2012, Africa Unite implemented a 6-months rights awareness and community dialogue programme for refugee, migrant and South African women. The findings of this intervention shows that in South Africa, refugee and migrant women continue to be subjected to unfair discrimination, often as a result of xenophobic beliefs, attitudes and actions. Prevailing gendered power relations, compounded by xenophobia, present refugee and migrant women with even fewer opportunities than their male-counterparts to find gainful employment in South Africa.
Despite the fact that many of them come to the country with experience and skills in small businesses, dressmaking, catering or bead-work, their opportunities for entering into and establishing themselves within the small business sector are severely restricted. In this respect, the situation of refugee and migrant women is strikingly similar to the position of South African women in poor communities. In addition to the social expectation that they remain the primary caregivers in the family, many women are further hampered by their lack of access to business forums or small business loans.
While some have ventured into setting up women’s self-help groups, most lack the skills and knowledge about building sustainable businesses. Based on these findings, Africa Unite came up with a project a Women Skills Development aimed at breaking through women’s economic isolation and enable them to become self-reliant.