Women in leadership in South Africa should continuously and actively agitate for the upliftment of women, says Deputy Minister of Tourism Tokozile Xasa.
"We need the buy-in and collaborate across the broad spectrum of society as we are collectively responsible for advancing the South African economy," she said when addressing the "Women of Value South Africa (WOVSA) Indaba (gathering)" here Tuesday.
Xasa said despite women making up nearly 70 per cent of the workforce in the tourism and hospitality sector, there was still a marked under-representation of women in senior positions within the industry.
The WOVSA is a non-profit organization formed in 2011 with a mission to impact on the lives of women and youth to be part of the mainstream socio-economic development of South Africa.
"Women hold less than 40 per cent of all managerial positions and only 5.0 to 8.0 per cent of board positions," said Xasa. "A study conducted by the National Department of Tourism in 2011 to assess the state of transformation found that the vast majority of enterprises (up to 90 per cent) have no black female shareholding."
According to the South African United Nations representative, women in South Africa contribute about 30 per cent to the country's gross domestic product (GDP) and this makes the economic empowerment of women a non-negotiable priority, the deputy minister said.
Xasa said the establishment of the Women in Tourism (WiT) forum was aimed at addressing the economic inequalities and challenges faced by women within the sector.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK