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City’s women empowerment programme continues to grow

The City of Cape Town’s Women for Change programme, which encourages women to take ownership of their neighbourhoods, concluded another successful year in which 1 507 women from across the City were given the tools to help make a difference in their communities. Read more below:

The Women for Change programme, previously known as the Women in Rental Stock, received just more than R28 million during the past financial year and it provided employment opportunities to women in all four City areas.

The programme was launched in June 2016 by the City’s Social Development and Early Childhood Development Directorate.

‘Safer, more nurturing and more empowered communities start with women and with the programme we give them the tools to do that. Women for Change was established to address some of the social ills in our society. Since inception, the women who are part of the programme have made it their own and have built on it each year. It is a success we celebrate,’ said the City of Cape Town’s Mayoral Committee Member for Community Services and Health, Councillor Zahid Badroodien.

The 1 507 women from across the city were recruited, trained and deployed to help uplift areas where City-owned rental stock is situated.

‘The women who participate show commitment and it is heartening to see the positive response from them to address and get involved in resolving social obstacles,’ added Councillor Badroodien.

‘The factors considered when we identify the areas where the programme is implemented include unemployment, social challenges and crime. Women who complete the programme exit with basic skills that enhance their employability and sense of self-worth,’ said Councillor Badroodien.

One participant, Rafeeqa Sterris from Retreat, wrote a poem detailing how she and the other women had gone from being bruised to women with potential.

‘Now we need to go out there and make our dreams a reality and make a difference in the world,’ she said.

Other women have testified how the programme has taken them from feeling depressed and defeated to independent and proud single parents.

‘I feel strong, empowered and beautiful. I have received helpful lessons on how to be a responsible, loving, caring, nurturing and strong single parent. I can keep my head up high and walk upright. I am all woman, all because of the programme,’ said another participant.

The women are employed through the Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP) and are also tasked with:

identifying and helping to address safety concerns in their environmen

logging service requests related to the upkeep of their buildings and surrounding streets, including littering, dumping, and graffiti removal

providing home-based care services to the elderly

identifying individuals at risk of social challenges like truancy, substance abuse and domestic violence and linking them with relevant services

In addition, they received training and education in disaster risk management, foetal alcohol syndrome, domestic violence, wellness and health promotion, solid waste management, self-defence, approaching disability in a sensitive manner and leadership.

The programmes will continue in the new financial year which started on 1 July.

Source: City Of Cape Town