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Ms. Samali Bosa during the 2013 Regional Meeting training.

The Africa team just returned from a three-day training and advocacy strategy review with our partner in South Africa, the Businesswomen’s Association of South Africa (BWASA. BWASA is running a campaign for women’s economic empowerment under the Supporting Public Advocacy for Regional Competitiveness (SPARC) Program, funded by the Dutch Foreign Ministry.

In partnership with women’s business organizations around the country, BWASA is leading the charge to help pass a Women Empowerment and Gender Equity (WEGE) Bill that is concrete, actionable, and for which compliance can be measured. The WEGE Bill was proposed to ensure the equal participation of women in social, political and economic structures of society by providing for women’s empowerment and gender mainstreaming in the public and private sectors, as well as in civil society, and to eliminate detrimental cultural, economic, social and traditional practices against women. In its current draft form, the bill calls for a “minimum of 50% equal representation and meaningful participation of women in all decision-making positions and structures.”

BWASA is also working in parallel with South African companies to encourage their commitment to advancing the status of women in the workplace and marketplace by seeking out their signatures to the UN Women Empowerment Principles and by offering services to help companies abide by these Principles.

BWASA held the first in a series of Executive Dialogues with South African businesses on November 20, 2013, to raise their awareness on the WEGE Bill and the UN Women Empowerment Principles and to seek their support for the campaign. BWASA will be holding three more Dialogues and hope to celebrate companies that have signed their commitment to the Principles with positive media and public signing ceremonies throughout the coming year.

We hope you will continue to follow BWASA’s groundbreaking work for equality in the workplace.

For more information:

BWASA Campaign Webpage:

WEGE Bill:

UN Women’s Empowerment Principles: