SA: Social Development partners with UAE to empower women

The Department of Social Development has partnered with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to empower young women from poor households with skills that will enable them to be economically independent.

One hundred women between 18 and 23 years are currently taking part in a three-day training programme entitled ‘Empowering 100 Women Future Leaders in Hospitality Excellence’.

Some of the young women undergoing training are beneficiaries of social grants. Currently, the majority of social grant recipients (over 45%) are young mothers below the age of 35 years.

During the tabling of the Budget Vote this year, the department prioritised linking social grant beneficiaries to jobs and economic opportunities as part of its Sustainable Livelihood Approach.

The training programme, which started on 25 November 2019, forms part of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children.

The programme is conducted by experts from the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management. It focuses on excellence in the hospitality industry, with the view of imparting world-class skills in tourism and hospitality through capacity development.

The department said the training programme’s focus areas include food and beverage service, hotel front office operations, improving the customer experience, the role of information technology in the hospitality industry, and industry-specific communication skills.

“Through the training programme, young women can learn a skilled trade, start a small business or get work experience. This positive ‘asset-based’ approach is intended to assist the young women to build a set of skills that will give them a chance to graduate out of the social grant system and to become less financially dependent on their partners,” the department explained.

Research and anecdotal evidence shows that abused women sometimes stay in toxic relationships not out of choice, but because they are financially dependent on their abusers, and leaving their abusive partners may plunge them and their children into poverty.