By – SAnews.gov.za
Higher Education and Training Minister Blade Nzimande has saluted women artisans and apprentices for venturing beyond social stereotypes and debunking the myth that certain skills and occupations are the preserves of men.
Minister Nzimande paid tribute to women artisans and apprentices during a ceremony held on Tuesday at Ekurhuleni West Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) College to honour women in artisanship.
In his address, Minister Nzimande said women artisans and apprentices must be empowered economically so that they can win the war against poverty.
“Income inequality based on gender bias also needs to be confronted and reversed wherever it shows its ugly head. Gender equality is not only a fundamental human right, but a necessary foundation for a peaceful, prosperous and sustainable world,” the Minister said.
He said providing women and girls with equal access to education, health care, decent work and representation in political and economic decision-making processes will fuel sustainable economies and benefit societies and humanity at large.
The Minister also acknowledged that the numbers of females registered for artisanal trades are still low at below 25% for the 2015/16 financial year.
He said the department will continue with the Decade of the Artisan Programme, which is the department’s artisan advocacy programme aimed to showcase young women that it is “cool” to be a woman artisan.
“The National Development Plan directs us to produce 30 000 artisans per annum by 2030, we will endeavour to encourage women, especially young women to join artisanal trades, if we are to succeed in our fight against poverty, unemployment and inequality.”