The Southern African Institute of Learning (Sail) held the launch of the 1956 Women’s Business Empowerment Programme at Gallagher Convention Centre on 13 September.
Sail is an education, training and development organisation that designs innovative learning solutions to enhance productivity and efficiency.
The programme was in commemoration of Women’s Day which was inspired by the women of 1956.
The managing director of Sail, Vimala Ariyan said the programme was initially designed to only take in 1 956 women but doors will not be shut for those women who can benefit from the programme and are seeking an opportunity.
“This particular programme only targets rural women because we believe they have been forgotten from the opportunities around us,” said Ariyan.
“The programme will equip women with the necessary skills needed to start, maintain and grow a business.
“We are not looking into any specific businesses but it can be something as small as selling on the side of the road or selling chickens, to any other ideas that women have.”
According to Unicef, women make up two-thirds of the world’s illiterate population, with a vast majority of these women living in rural areas.
Women in rural areas spend more time on household chores and raising their families.
According to Statistics South Africa, men are more likely than women to be engaged in economic activities while women are most likely to be engaged in non-economic activities.
Gender inequality is one of the major causes of poverty and hunger.
The World Food Programme estimates that 60 per cent of chronically hungry people are women and girls.
Ariyan added that they are planning to start the training of women by November this year, once the applications and registrations process is finalised.