News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Saturday February 24th 2018

Questions raised over 2010 gender empowerment

Yugendree Naidoo

crane.jpgQuestions have been raised about the extent to which women will benefit from the 2010 World Cup, with gender activists pointing to a policy vacuum when it comes to the economic empowerment of women in the organisation and running of the event.

Gender Links deputy director Kubi Rama said: “So far I am not aware of any policy that enforces a gender component, which is absolutely required as the danger of hosting events such as this is that we don’t know who are empowered.”

Gender Links, a non-governmental organisation, has commissioned research into how women are to benefit from the 2010 World Cup.

Rama said part of the research would examine how women were included in decision making structures and the awarding of work in terms of contracts and tenders.

Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) gender commissioner Dr Yvette Abrahams said there was “no guarantee” that women would benefit from the event.

Abrahams said unfortunately there was no policy in place to enforce social development benefits and called for a specific gender scorecard system similar to Black Economic Empowerment (BEE) scorecards.

Host-city Local Organising Committees (LOC) failed to respond to queries on the amount of business awarded to women in the build-up to the event or whether they had a policy on gender empowerment.

However, Fifa 2010 LOC chief communications officer Rich Mkhondo said many women had been empowered in the development of infrastructure and organisation of the event.

And he said the LOC encouraged service providers to empower women.

Dr Laurine Platzky, deputy director-general for governance, integration and the 2010 Fifa World Cup in the Western Cape Office of the Premier, said it was not possible to provide figures of how many tenders had been awarded to women, because some were contracted directly by the LOC, some by cities and others by the media and corporates.

While there was no gender enforcement or policy, she said there was a guideline which stated that 40% of LOC contracts should go to small, medium and micro enterprises.

She said the construction and hospitality industries where the main sectors where women would benefit economically from 2010.

She said craft, which was dominated by women, was also a “major opportunity”.

Small traders operating in Cape Town’s tourist hotspot of Long Street are convinced that 2010 will boost business.

Kenyan Evlyne Omonid, who has been in South Africa for two years, said she and other traders paid rural women in their home countries to produce products, which were then transported to South Africa and sold to tourists.

“We are supporting those women and their families, who are struggling to survive,” she said.

Money earned by the women enabled them to be financially independent of their husbands, educate their children and qualify for loans.

Omonid runs a small jewelry business from a stall in a Long Street trading market. The money she earns supports her family, but she depends on tourists for an income. And she is expecting droves of these in 2010. – West Cape News

Tags: 2010, fifa, gender

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