TOWARDS AN ENABLING ENVIRONMENT FOR WOMEN ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT IN SOUTH AFRICA
TOWARDS AN ENABLING ENVIRONMENT FOR WOMEN ECONOMIC EMPOWERMENT IN SOUTH AFRICA A STATUS QUO REPORT 31 May 2011
Department of Trade and Industry, November 2011. Version Number: 1.0 This document contains confidential and proprietary information. The dissemination, copying, disclosure, use of or taking of any action in reliance on the contents thereof, without the written consent of the dti, is strictly prohibited. the dti Campus 77 Meintjies Street Sunnyside Pretoria 0002 the dti Private Bag X84 Pretoria 0001 the dti Customer Contact Centre: 0861 843 384 the dti Website: www.thedti.gov.za
Analysis of Gender and Women’s Economic Empowerment ii Acknowledgements At the outset it is our duty as the Gender and Women’s Empowerment Unit (GWE) to acknowledge the Deputy Minister Ms Elizabeth Thabethe. The Blueprint Group (Pty) Ltd gratefully acknowledges the support of the GWE of the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti). Particularly, we wish to thank Ms Bongi Ludidi, Ms Nompumelelo Maisela and Ms Lindiwe Tsongayinwe. In addition, thanks are due to Ms Grania Mackie and Ms Carmen Armstrong from the Women’s Enterprise Development Programmes of the International Labour Organisation (ILO) based in Pretoria.
Blueprint also wishes to thank all the provincial gender focal points that assisted in the organisation of provincial focus group discussions. Special thanks are due to all the focus group and workshop participants who gave up their time to contribute to the findings and recommendations of this project. These people are listed in Annexure 2.
Analysis of Gender and Women’s Economic Empowerment iii Table of Contents Acknowledgements . ii List of Figures . v Acronyms Used . vi Section 1: Executive Summary and Background ___ 7
1 Executive Summary ___ 8
2 Background and Introduction ___ 15
3 Scope, Methodology and Limitations ___ 17
Section 2: Research Findings ___ 21
4 Policy Environment: Context of Gender and Women’s Empowerment ___ 22
4.1 International Context ___ 22
4.2 African Context ___ 25
4.3 South African Context ___ 26
5 Women in the South African Economy and Enterprise Sector ___ 30
5.1 Women in the Economy ___ 30
5.2 Women in the SMME Sector ___ 39
6 Key Research Themes ___ 43
6.1 Ensuring Policy Leadership and Coordination for Women’s Economic Empowerment through Enterprise Development ___ 43
6.2 Creating an Enabling Business Environment for Women’s Economic Empowerment through Enterprise Development ___ 45
6.3 Promoting Women’s Entrepreneurship ___ 46
6.4 Delivering Enterprise Education and Training for Women’s Economic Empowerment through Enterprise Development ___ 47
6.5 Promoting Access to Credit and Financial Services ___ 47
6.6 Enhancing Access to Business Development and Information Services ___ 48
6.7 Improving Women’s Participation in Women Entrepreneurs’ Associations and Networks ___ 49
6.8 Ensuring Women’s Access to Business Premises ___ 50
6.9 Opening Women’s Access to National and Global Markets ___ 50
6.10 Promoting Science and Technology for Women’s Economic Empowerment through Enterprise Development ___ 51
6.11 Promoting Women’s Empowerment and Enterprise Development through Social Entrepreneurship and Cooperatives ___ 52
Section 3: Recommendations .
Analysis of Gender and Women’s Economic Empowerment iv 7 Monitoring, Evaluating and Financing the Gender Mainstreaming and Women’s Economic Empowerment ___ 55
7.1 Purpose of a Monitoring and Evaluation System ___ 55
7.2 Designing a Monitoring and Evaluation Strategy ___ 56
7.3 Developing a Monitoring and Evaluation Framework ___ 58
7.4 Future Research Demands ___ 61
7.5 Financing Women’s Economic Empowerment through Enterprise Development ___ 62
8 Conclusions and Recommendations ___ 66
8.1 General Approaches and Recommendations ___ 66
8.1.1 Defining Women’s Economic Empowerment ___ 66
8.1.2 Balancing Gender Mainstreaming with Women-Specific Programming ___ 67
8.1.3 Targeting Women for Economic Empowerment through Enterprise Development ___ 68
8.2 Recommendations for the Promotion of Women’s Enterprise Development ___ 69
8.2.1 Access to Financial and Business Development Services ___ 69
8.2.2 Broader Development and Empowerment Strategies ___ 71
8.3 Recommendations for the Promotion of Gender Equality ___ 72
8.3.1 Micro-level Interventions for Gender Equality and Women’s Economic Empowerment ___ 72
8.3.2 Meso-level Interventions for Gender Equality and Women’s Economic Empowerment ___ 73
8.3.3 Macro-level Interventions for Gender Equality and Women’s Economic Empowerment ___ 73
8.4 Recommendations for Improving Leadership and Coordination for Women’s Economic Empowerment ___ 75
8.4.1 Business Leadership and Coordination ___ 75
8.4.2 Mechanisms for Promoting Gender Equality and Women’s Economic Empowerment ___ 75
Section 4: Annexures ___ 77
A.1 List of References ___ 78
A.1.1 Consultations Cited ___ 78
A.1.2 Documents Cited ___ 78
A.2 People Consulted ___ 81
A.3 Workshop Questionnaire (25 March 2011 ___ 90
A.4 Workshop Questionnaire (13 May 2011 .
Analysis of Gender and Women’s Economic Empowerment v List of figures Figure 1: National and Provincial Focus Group Discussions ___ 17
Figure 2: Number of Participants by Sector and Province ___ 18
Figure 3: Column Chart of Participation Based on Sector and Province ___ 18
Figure 4: Overall Participation by Sector ___ 19
Figure 5: Participation by Province, Race and Sex ___ 19
Figure 6: Key Labour Market Indicators ___ 31
Figure 7: Weighting of Employment by Sector in the South African Economy ___ 32
Figure 8: Employment by Occupation in the South African Economy ___ 32
Figure 9: Unemployment by Sex ___ 33
Figure 10: Earnings by Sex: South African Employees ___ 33
Figure 11: Women-to-Men Earnings Ratio, Adjusted by Population Group ___ 34
Figure 12: Contribution to Value Added by Sector ___ 36
Figure 13: Contribution of SMEs to GDP ___ 38
Figure 14: SMME contribution by Sector (2006 ___ 38
Figure 15: Small Enterprises in South Africa – Growth 2000-2006 .
Analysis of Gender and Women’s Economic Empowerment vi Acronyms Used AsgiSA Accelerated and Shared Growth Initiative for South Africa BBBEE Broad-Based Black Economic Empowerment BDS Business development services Cipro FABCOS Companies and Intellectual Property Registration Office Foundation for African Business and Consumer Services FDI Foreign direct investment FET Further Education and Training GEAR Growth, Employment and Redistribution: A Macro-Economic Strategy GDP Gross Domestic Product GMS GWE Gender management system Gender Women’s and Empowerment Unit HIV/AIDS Human Immunodeficiency Virus/ Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome HR IDC Human resources Industrial Development Corporation IFC International Finance Corporation ILO International Labour Organisation IPAP M&E Industrial Policy Action Plan Monitoring and evaluation NYDA National Youth Development Agency PDS RECs SADC Private sector development Regional economic communities Southern African Development Community SAWEN South African Women Entrepreneurs’ Network SEDA Small Enterprise Development Agency SME Small and medium enterprise SMMEs Small, medium and micro-enterprises the dti The Department of Trade and Industry WEF Women Entrepreneurs Fund WEDGE Women's Entrepreneurship Development and Gender Equality (ILO)
Analysis of Gender and Women’s Economic Empowerment I am proud to say that the 2006 Draft Strategic Framework on Gender and Women Empowerment of the Department of Trade & Industry has taken us through a phase of identifying the major obstacles aﬀecting women in starting, growing and sustaining their businesses as well as barriers to entering the economy. Recognizing such challenges as access to resources, appropriate technology, skills and credit led to the introduction of a wide range of speciﬁc interventions. Furthermore, our commitment to play a leading role in the transformation of our economy now demands that we take stock and highlight the progress made as well as the disparities that still prevail.
We are therefore revisiting our Strategic Framework along with the International Labor Organization (ILO).
I am humbled by the support that this project has enjoyed from all the provinces and various players in the South African economy. As I present this Status Quo Report, let us take heart of the progress made and note the long way ahead of us. The Report provides a comprehensive review of the context for gender and women’s economic empowerment in South Africa. It further, gives details of a wide range of institutional and policy frameworks that aﬀect women‘s participation in the economy . Whilst this is work in progress, the report highlights signiﬁcant ﬁndings and presents a series of recommendations designed to inform the revision of the dti’s Strategic Framework on Gender and Women’s Economic Empowerment going forward.
I highlight in particular three considerable issues raised that will certainly take primacy as we update the strategy. These are the following: Deﬁning Women’s Economic Empowerment, Balancing Gender Mainstreaming with Women – speciﬁc programming and targeting women for Economic Empowerment through Enterprise development. These issues in question together with the speciﬁc recommendations compel us to rethink and improve on our current service oﬀerings. Findings from both the situational analysis studies and the various consultative sessions held throughout the country provide a condensed view of the diﬀerent key stakeholders and aﬀected groups.
I call on all organs of the state and our partners to follow the process and walk with us to deliver a quality Strategic Framework on Gender and Women Economic Empowerment that will yield the vision we all havethat of economic independence for women. This Report is a considerable milestone towards updating the Strategic Framework on Gender and Women’s Economic Empowerment and I am conﬁdent that despite the challenges, we will in the course of this ﬁnancial year table the ﬁnal framework before Cabinet.
I thank you Elizabeth Thabethe, MP Deputy Minister, Trade & Industry Foreword I thank you Elizabeth Thabethe, MP
Analysis of Gender and Women’s Economic Empowerment Message of Support Under the current mandate, more emphasis is placed on the implementation of key strategic programs that contribute to the achievement of inclusive growth, job creation as well as industrial competitivenessandprovisionofleadershipintradepolicyascontained in the Medium Term Strategic Framework (MTSF) for 2009 – 2014 cited by the Honorable Minister of Trade and Industry, Dr Rob Davies.
Women economic empowerment is not only a key program towards achieving inclusive growth in South Africa, it is also a Constitutional and human rights imperative.
In the current term, the Department of Trade & Industry has taken it upon itself to review the existing framework, taking stock of the ground covered as well as moved to examine new ways to address the challenges that still prevail. The release of this Status Quo Report is a major milestone towards the new ways of doing business in terms of women economic empowerment. While there are encouraging success stories of women moving away from traditional hawking into more value adding business opportunities such as franchising, furniture manufacturing, printing, travel agencies and property development, it is clear that statistics on the representation of women in the economy remain puzzling.
Both the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor (GEM) and the 2010 FinScope Study conﬁrm that over 70% of small business in South Africa is women owned and mainly informal but also in many ways less likely to be ﬁnancially served.
The Status Quo Report provides a comprehensive review of the context for gender and women’s economic empowerment in South Africa, albeit at the backdrop of the global economic crisis. It further, gives an extensive analysis on women‘s participation in the economy, thus highlighting the challenges that lie ahead. Whilst this is work in progress, the Report highlights signiﬁcant ﬁndings and the assessment of recorded universal challenges or crosscutting areas that require us to improve upon, equally so, the unique challenges that are location speciﬁc. An additional body of research conﬁrms that women entrepreneurs require the same levels of support as any small business would, but also additional due to the unique role of women in societies and communities.
We will continue with the process of reviewing the strategic framework to ensure views and inputs and or expression of the aﬀected groups are incorporated and translated into policy, programs and strategies. I am informed that very few countries have formally ﬁnalized and implemented a Strategic Framework on Gender and Women Economic Empowerment, notably, the USA, the UK and Canada. Indeed, South Africa will soon be an interesting reference point in this area. We must keep on working harder and smarter to create a vibrant and growing inclusive economy.
I thank you Sipho Zikode Deputy Director General, Empowerment & Enterprise Development (EEDD)
Analysis of Gender and Women’s Economic Empowerment 8 1 Executive Summary This report is the final output of a detailed review of the context for gender and women’s economic empowerment in South Africa. It is preceded by two reports that present a situational analysis of women’s economic empowerment through enterprise development in South Africa. This report provides a summary and synthesis of the main findings of the research and presents a series of recommendations designed to inform the revision of the 2006, Draft Strategic Framework on Gender and Women’s Economic Empowerment of the Department of Trade and Industry (the dti).
It is anticipated that the revised framework will ensure that businesswomen in South Africa are able to expand opportunities to participate in, benefit from, and contribute to economic growth.
The research project has employed a mixed method approach. In the first instance, the research team reviewed secondary data on women’s economic empowerment and enterprise development, and mapped a wide range of policies, programmes and institutions. The results of this examination are presented in the first volume of the Situational Analysis Report. The second volume of the situational analysis builds on the assessment of secondary data, and it draws upon the issues raised through consultations with key organisations and individuals in all provinces. Over 200 women participated in the process.
This involved direct consultations and a series of consultation workshops, or focus groups, designed to allow participants the opportunity to raise the issues they believe are relevant to the promotion of women’s economic empowerment through enterprise development.
Based on the findings of the research, 20 recommendations are presented for consideration by the dti in the future revision of the Strategic Framework on Gender and Women’s Economic Empowerment. I General Approaches and Recommendations Three broad issues should be integrated into the revision of the Strategic Framework: I.A Defining Women’s Economic Empowerment The 2006 Strategic framework on gender and women’s economic empowerment does not provide a definition of women’s economic empowerment, and the following definition for the revised Strategic Framework is proposed: The term women’s economic empowerment refers to the ability of all women to fully participate in, contribute to, and benefit from economic growth and development.
It is a broad term encompassing a range of diverse but integrated socio-economic strategies. It recognises that within this framework there are a variety of sub-groups deserving special attention, including women from historically disadvantaged communities, young women, women with disabilities, and women living in rural areas.
While progress in women’s economic empowerment can be measured in terms of actual outcomes, such as those described below, it is also a process that transforms gender relations in society and the economy, and builds the skills necessary for a woman to gain self-confidence in order to take control of her life.
Analysis of Gender and Women’s Economic Empowerment 9 It contributes to gender equality by creating a situation in which women and men have equal conditions for realising their full human rights and potential and are able to contribute equally to social and economic development and benefit equally from the results.
Empowerment increases a woman’s access to and control over her resources. Women’s economic empowerment strategies include, but are not limited to, strategies with the following aims: (a) increasing the number of women who manage, own and control enterprises and productive assets; (b) developing human resources and skills; (c) achieving equitable representation in all occupational categories and levels in the workforce; (d) preferential procurement; and (e) investment in enterprises that are owned or managed by women.
The term women’s economic empowerment through enterprise development refers to a range of strategies that government employs, in partnership with the private sector and other social partners, to increase the number of women who manage, own and control competitive and sustainable enterprises. This includes sole proprietorships, women-empowered companies and cooperatives, and family-owned enterprises and partnerships in which women have the majority share of ownership and management. Recommendation 1: Define Women’s Economic Empowerment It is recommended that the revised Strategic Framework provide a clear definition of women’s economic empowerment, which frames the concept within current policy frameworks of empowerment and specifies the role of enterprise development within this context.
I.B Balancing Gender Mainstreaming with Women-specific Programming While mainstreaming is an effective strategy for promoting gender equality and women’s economic empowerment, it requires regular and careful planning and monitoring. There are times when mainstreaming is not enough, and in these situations women-specific programming is required. Recommendation 2: Provide Clear Guidance on how to Mainstream It is recommended that the revised Strategic Framework provide clear guidance to all relevant agencies (i.e. government and private actors at the national, provincial and local levels) with regard to how gender equality concerns can be mainstreamed.
Recommendation 3: Provide Women-specific Programming when Required It is recommended that the revised Strategic Framework encourage agencies to consider formulating women-specific programmes to complement mainstreaming strategies. I.C Targeting Women for Economic Empowerment through Enterprise Development Careful attention needs to be given to formulating target groups within the broad category of women. Attention should be given to issues such as: race (with particular emphasis on those women from historically disadvantaged racial groups), age, disability, location (i.e. rural, urban, former townships), levels of
Analysis of Gender and Women’s Economic Empowerment 10 education, formal business owners and managers, and informal business owners and managers (i.e. Second Economy actors). Recommendation 4: Clearly Target Sub-categories of Women It is recommended that the revised Strategic Framework provide guidance to agencies on the importance of programme targeting. This guidance should include the identification of national priority target groups as well as a framework for how to address the needs of these groups and monitor progress. II Recommendations for the Promotion of Women’s Enterprise Development II.A Access to Financial and Business Development Services (BDS) Many women in business, or those planning to start a business, believe the current institutional and programme framework for enterprise development is inadequate.
There are few, if any, women-specific programmes available to help women start up and expand a business, and many agencies have insufficient data on the number of women they assist.
Recommendation 5: Improve Monitoring and Evaluation Systems within the dti Agencies It is recommended that the revised Strategic Framework clearly stipulates a process through which the dti-supported agencies are required to develop clear gender targets and report annually on the progress towards these targets. While gender mainstreaming within national and provincial enterprise development programmes is a necessary and feasible strategy, this should be supported by the provision of women-specific programmes that contain, among other elements, general business start-up concepts and skills (i.e.
an introduction to business), time management and personal development skills, financial literacy, and mentor support.
Recommendation 6: Develop a Women’s Enterprise Development Programme (which Includes Mentorship) It is recommended that the revised Strategic Framework instruct SEDA and any other relevant agency to design and implement a women’s enterprise development programme. This programme should recognise and respond to the personal development challenges facing many women who own and manage an enterprise. Specific attention should also be given to the provision of a national support service of mentors for businesswomen.
Many women in business feel excluded from the markets that are necessary to establish and grow their businesses.
Recommendation 7: Improve Women’s Access to Markets It is recommended that the revised Strategic Framework provide specific information on ways in which women can gain better access to new and expanding markets. This should include strategies that help women obtain relevant and up-to-date market information, and developing assessment tools
Analysis of Gender and Women’s Economic Empowerment 11 that help to identify and address the barriers women face in accessing new and expanding markets. Many participants were concerned with the lack of information available to them regarding business development programmes and services. Thus, a clear strategy for improving the delivery of information to women is essential. Recommendation 8: Improve Information Delivery It is recommended that the revised Strategic Framework give direction to national and provincial government agencies on how to improve the delivery of information on relevant programmes and services to women, with particular attention to those women in rural areas and with low levels of literacy.
Women who have succeeded in business are extremely valuable role models and can be used in the promotion of women’s economic empowerment. Business award programmes and competitions have been useful strategies in this regard, especially when they highlight the experience of women at the grassroots.
Recommendation 9: Enhance the Recognition of Female Role Models in Business It is recommended that the revised Strategic Framework encourage the strengthening of programmes that recognise and promote successful businesswomen as role models for others. These role models should be from a range of specified target groups, including women with disabilities, women living in rural areas and young women. II.B Broader Development and Empowerment Strategies It is essential that the concerns of women’s economic empowerment become better integrated into the broader national, provincial and local development strategies.
Recommendation 10: Integrate Women’s Economic Empowerment into Broader Economic Development Policies It is recommended that the revised Strategic Framework contain specific provisions that ensure the needs and interests of women’s economic empowerment are explicitly integrated into development policies and strategies at national, provincial and local levels. This should include clear, time-bound targets and indicators that describe how women will participate in and benefit from these initiatives.
III Recommendations for the Promotion of Gender Equality III.A Micro-level Interventions for Gender Equality and Women’s Economic Empowerment While basic education and training is the cornerstone to women’s economic empowerment, low levels of education and literacy undermine many women’s progress toward economic empowerment.
Analysis of Gender and Women’s Economic Empowerment 12 Recommendation 11: Improve Women’s Access to Basic Education And Training, Including Literacy It is recommended that the revised Strategic Framework give priority to women’s access to basic education and training and provide inter-departmental and interagency mechanisms for improving the access women have to basic education and training, including the improvement of literacy and the development of entrepreneurial skills among women.
III.B Meso-level Interventions for Gender Equality and Women’s Economic Empowerment There is a high demand for leadership skills development that can improve the effectiveness of women in businesswomen’s organisations and other development formations.
Recommendation 12: Invest in the Development of Leadership Skills It is recommended that the revised Strategic Framework prioritise the development of leadership skills among women at local and provincial levels. This should include the leadership of community and women’s organisations, as well as leadership in the business community.
The mainstreaming of gender issues and the design of women-specific programmes requires programme managers to have particular skills and experience in this field. Recommendation 13: Build the Capacity of Programme Managers It is recommended that the revised Strategic Framework encourage the building of capacity of programme managers, and outline a process through which programme managers in national, provincial and local agencies and departments can become more proficient in gender mainstreaming and the design and management of programmes that specifically target women. III.C Macro-level Interventions for Gender Equality and Women’s Economic Empowerment Policy-makers need to become more proficient at designing and monitoring policies that either mainstream gender concerns or specifically target women.
Recommendation 14: Build the Capacity of Policy-makers It is recommended that the revised Strategic Framework encourage the building of capacity of policy makers and outline a process through which national and provincial policy-makers can become more proficient in gender mainstreaming and the design and management of programmes that specifically target women. National and provincial departments also need to become more aware of the progress being made toward gender equality and women’s economic empowerment.
Recommendation 15: Improve the Reporting on Equity Targets and Gender Auditing
Analysis of Gender and Women’s Economic Empowerment 13 It is recommended that the revised Strategic Framework describe a process through which key national and provincial government departments and agencies will define and report on gender equity targets. This should include a process of gender auditing of key national and provincial departments and agencies. It is essential for national and provincial governments to liaise with businesswomen’s organisations and other relevant social partners to consider ways in which equity targets and women’s economic empowerment programmes can be discussed.
Recommendation 16: Promote Public-private Dialogue on Equity Targets It is recommended that the revised Strategic Framework describe ways in which national, provincial and local gender-equity targets and women’s economic development programmes can be discussed with women in business and with other social partners. Many agencies working within the national policy framework for gender equality and women’s economic empowerment require guidance. Thus, attention should be given to informing and guiding all relevant departments and agencies on how they can participate in, and improve gender equality and the promotion of, women’s economic empowerment.
Recommendation 17: Guide National, Provincial and Local Agencies It is recommended that the revised Strategic Framework outline ways in which the dti can provide clear guidance to all relevant national, provincial and local agencies on how to mainstream gender issues, and how to improve the targeting of women in their programmes and services. IV Recommendations for Improving Leadership and Coordination for Women’s Economic Empowerment Women’s economic empowerment through enterprise development requires clear leadership and coordination at national and provincial levels. This requires the improvement of leadership and coordination among the community of women in business as well as the establishment of effective mechanisms for implementing and monitoring gender equality and strategies for women’s economic empowerment.
IV.A Business Leadership and Coordination The dti has a close and supportive relationship with the South African Women Entrepreneurs’ Network (SAWEN), and the challenge is to find ways in which SAWEN can respond to the demands of its members and other businesswomen, while promoting effective public-private partnerships with the dti and other national government departments.
Recommendation 18: Support the Development and Sustainability of SAWEN It is recommended that the revised Strategic Framework consider the links between the dti and SAWEN and describe initiatives that will be undertaken to strengthen SAWEN’s membership base at national, provincial and local levels. The framework should also contain initiatives that promote the long-term
Analysis of Gender and Women’s Economic Empowerment 14 sustainability of SAWEN and the development of supportive synergies with other businesswomen’s organisations. IV.C Mechanisms for Promoting Gender Equality and Women’s Economic Empowerment Careful attention should be paid to the ways in which the revised Strategic Framework will be implemented and monitored.
This involves the need for improved public-private dialogue in which public and private actors can regularly discuss the equity targets and agency performance.
Recommendation 19: Establish a Mechanism for Regular and Structured Public-private Dialogue on Gender Equity and Women’s Economic Empowerment It is recommended that the revised Strategic Framework make provision for the establishment of a mechanism for public-private dialogue on gender equity and women’s economic empowerment, such as a National Women’s Economic Empowerment Council. While the Gender Unit should oversee the design, implementation and monitoring of the revised Strategic Framework, partnerships should be developed with other key agencies, including private sector organisations, businesswomen’s organisations and other social partners, to implement and monitor the framework.
Recommendation 20: Establish a Mechanism for Implementation and Monitoring It is recommended that the revised Strategic Framework outline a mechanism in which the dti Gender Unit will partner with other organisations to implement and monitor the initiatives contained in the framework. This should include building stronger links with national business support agencies and departments of provincial economic development.
Analysis of Gender and Women’s Economic Empowerment 15 2 Background and Introduction This report is the final output of a detailed review of the context for gender and women’s economic empowerment in South Africa.
It is preceded by two reports that presented a situational analysis of women’s economic empowerment through enterprise development in South Africa: Situational analysis Volume 1 presented the results of a review of secondary data on women’s economic empowerment and enterprise development, and it mapped a wide range of policies, programmes and institutions in this field. Situational analysis Volume 2 built on the assessment of secondary data and reported on the findings of direct consultations with key stakeholders and a series of consultation workshops, or focus groups. This included nine provincial focus group discussions and one national workshop.
This Final research report provides a summary and synthesis of the main findings of this research and presents a series of recommendations designed to inform the revision of the dti’s Strategic framework on gender and women’s economic empowerment. It is anticipated that the revised framework will ensure that businesswomen in South Africa are able to expand opportunities to participate in, benefit from, and contribute to economic growth. In 2006, the dti formulated a Strategic framework on gender and women’s economic empowerment. While this framework remains a draft, it provides a valuable reference for consideration of the principles and purpose of women’s economic empowerment.
The framework presents the vision of a ‘society in which there is social and economic justice for all, where women and men are able to achieve their full human potential, and in which women have equal access to, and control over, economic resources.’ Its mission was to ‘ensure that gender equity is systematically taken into account in all the values, policies, programmes of the dti, its working environment, work practices, monitoring and evaluation systems, and to establish the requisite structures, processes and timeframes for achieving this’ (Department of Trade and Industry, 2006:4). The draft framework specified seven objectives: To challenge the direct and indirect barriers in enterprise, industry and trade, which prevent women from having equal access to and control over economic resources.
To facilitate women’s equal access to economic and productive resources by strengthening their capacity and networks as well as their ability to benefit from the dti’s policies and programmes. To increase women’s easy access to finance by assessing existing programmes that provide access to finance for women and suggesting improvements to address existing gaps in a sustainable manner. To work towards gender parity in all enterprise, industry and trade and structures, including boards, councils and missions. To ensure that the life experience and views of South African women contribute equally to the reform of trade, investment and enterprise development.
Analysis of Gender and Women’s Economic Empowerment 16 To conduct research, and put in place indicators and monitoring systems to measure the gendered impact of the dti’s policies and programmes. To ensure that the dti budget benefits women and men equitably and that specific resources are allocated for helping to overcome the particular disadvantages faced by women. This Final Research Report identifies the key challenges for gender and women’s economic empowerment in South Africa. It presents a brief profile of the South African economy and investment climate and positions female-owned enterprises within this.
A wide range of institutional and policy frameworks are examined: Policy leadership and coordination structures within national and provincial governments; Business environment (i.e. the policy and legal framework for doing business in South Africa); Policies for the promotion of women’s entrepreneurship; Policies affecting women’s access to enterprise education and training; Policies affecting women’s access to credit and financial services; Policies affecting women’s access to business development and information services; Policies affecting women’s participation in women entrepreneurs’ associations and networks; Policies affecting women’s access to business premises; Policies affecting women’s access to markets and international trade development support; Policies promoting women’s access to science and technology; and Policies promoting social entrepreneurship and cooperatives.
Analysis of Gender and Women’s Economic Empowerment 17 3 Scope, Methodology and Limitations This research project has employed a mixed method approach. In the first instance, the research team were involved in reviewing secondary data on women’s economic empowerment and enterprise development. The results of this examination are presented in the first volume of this Situational analysis report. The first volume report also maps a wide range of policies, programmes and institutions. Building on the assessment of secondary data, the research project collected and analysed primary data through consultations with key organisations and individuals.
This involved direct consultations and a series of consultation workshops, or focus groups, designed to allow participants the opportunity to raise the issues they believed were relevant to the promotion of women’s economic empowerment through enterprise development. This process included nine provincial focus-group discussions and one national workshop. See the figure below.
Figure 1: National and Provincial Focus Group Discussions Province Date Venue Eastern Cape 29 March 2011 Mthatha Free State 9 March 2011 Bram Fischer Building Bloemfontein Gauteng 25 February 2011 Reef Hotel Johannesburg KwaZulu-Natal 8 March 2011 International Conference Centre Durban Limpopo 16 March 2011 Oasis Lodge Polokwane Mpumalanga 24 February 2011 Government Buildings Nelspruit Northern Cape 1 March 2011 Kalahari Lodge Kimberley North West 18 March 2011 Cooke’s Lake Mafikeng Western Cape 24 March 2011 The Capetonian Hotel Cape Town National Consultation 25 March 2011 Casa Toscana Lodge Pretoria National Consultation 13 May 2011 Swan Lake Lodge Pretoria Annex 2 contains a list of people consulted.
Analysis of Gender and Women’s Economic Empowerment 18 The three figures below provide a breakdown of the participants in these consultations. Figure 2: Number of Participants by Sector and Province Province Government District Municipalities NGO Business Totals Eastern Cape 3 2 0 26 31 Free State 3 0 3 6 12 Gauteng 3 0 0 10 13 KwaZulu-Natal 5 5 14 8 32 Limpopo 2 3 2 9 16 Mpumalanga 7 5 0 17 29 North West 12 4 0 19 35 Northern Cape 1 0 0 11 12 Western Cape 12 0 0 13 25 First National 14 0 13 7 34 Second National 18 0 11 22 51 Totals 80 19 43 148 290 Figure 3: Column Chart of Participation Based on Sector and Province
Analysis of Gender and Women’s Economic Empowerment 19 Figure 4: Overall Participation by Sector Figure 5: Participation by Province, Race and Sex The purpose of the focus group discussions was to obtain the views of key stakeholders regarding the issues affecting women’s economic empowerment and enterprise development. Key stakeholders included national, provincial and local government officials, non-government organisations, women in business, and civil society organisations including women’s organisations. Special attention was given to ensuring groups representing people with disabilities and people living with HIV and AIDS were invited and engaged in the process.
The overall approach to these focus group discussions was to allow participants to raise issues they believed were relevant to the promotion of women’s economic
Analysis of Gender and Women’s Economic Empowerment 20 empowerment through enterprise development in their province and in South Africa more generally. Drawing on the findings of these assessments and consultations, a main research report will be prepared. This report makes recommendations to the dti regarding the key elements of a revised strategic framework. The major limitation to the research methodology was that the provincial consultations relied on the support of provincial authorities who generally preferred to conduct these consultations in urban centres.
This generally reduced the overall involvement of ruralbased women. Efforts were made to address this, by ensuring rural women’s organisations were invited to the national workshops.
Similarly, while there was special attention to invite groups representing people with disabilities and people living with HIV and AIDS, and to engage them in the process, not all these organisations responded to these requests.
Analysis of Gender and Women’s Economic Empowerment 21 Section 2: Research Findings This section contains three chapters: Chapter 4: Policy environment: context of gender and women’s empowerment. This chapter presents the context for women’s economic empowerment globally, across Africa and within South Africa. It briefly summarises the key concepts around gender equality and women’s economic empowerment in South Africa, and it sets the scene in which the conditions for gender equality and women’s economic empowerment through enterprise development occurs.
Chapter 5: Women in the South African economy and enterprise sector. This chapter describes the make-up of the South African economy and the engagement of women in the economy. It includes an overview of women in business in South Africa. Chapter 6: Key research themes. This chapter reviews the research findings in terms of the major policy themes.
Analysis of Gender and Women’s Economic Empowerment 22 4 Policy Environment: Context of Gender and Women’s Empowerment This chapter presents the context for women’s economic empowerment globally, across Africa and within South Africa.
It briefly summarises the key concepts around gender equality and women’s economic empowerment in South Africa, and it sets the scene in which the conditions for gender equality and women’s economic empowerment through enterprise development occurs.
Women’s economic empowerment is a broad concept, embracing a wide range of fields. While it is important to adopt a holistic approach to this topic – one that encompasses all interrelated policy spheres – it is also necessary to define the concept so that it can be applied and monitored. 4.1 International Context While it is generally understood that men and women have different experiences as owners and managers of privately owned enterprises, there is growing recognition internationally that specific tools and processes are required to address this. Many development programmes for women’s enterprise have attempted to provide assistance to women in the private sector to help them overcome the specific barriers they face.
In contrast, there are increasing calls for a more systemic response to the gender-based inequities in private-sector development. As the new slogan suggests, ‘smart economics’ includes ‘(bringing) women into the market economy and addresses growth and equity simultaneously’ (Braun, 2007).Small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) and micro-enterprises play a central role in promoting employment and economic growth. In addition, this is a sector in which many women earn their livelihood, with women’s entrepreneurship increasing rapidly in many industrialised nations. Many women support themselves and their families through the income they receive from their entrepreneurial activities, making supporting women’s entrepreneurship important to family well-being (Kantor, 2001). The development of women’s enterprise (Mayoux, 2001) contributes in the following ways:
- Economic growth, because of women’s increasing prominence in the small-scale sector. Increasing the profits and efficiency of women’s enterprises is therefore essential to growth within the small-scale sector and the economy as a whole.
- Poverty alleviation and employment creation, because women are generally poorer than men, spend more of their income on their families, and operate more labour-intensive enterprises using female labour.
- Economic, social and political empowerment for women themselves through increasing women’s access to and control over incomes and working conditions. This then gives them greater power to negotiate wider economic, social and political changes in gender inequality.
Analysis of Gender and Women’s Economic Empowerment 23 Along with other private-sector development initiatives, the business environment affects the performance of private enterprises in both the formal and informal economies. The principal objective of a better business environment is that it should lead to poverty reduction, and especially to an increase in employment opportunities for poor people. However, national business environments can treat male-owned businesses differently to female-owned businesses. Many of the constraints to the growth of MSEs ‘do not affect men’s and women’s businesses in the same way, since men-owned and women-owned businesses do not operate in the same sectors or locations, or have equal access, control, and use of the same resources and marketing outlets’ (Esim, 2001, p.Differences between businesses owned by men and those owned by women may have specific regional contexts. Women face general barriers for the development of SMEs in some countries (e.g. weak institutional support, lack of access to credit and services), and also gender-specific barriers related to uneven sharing of privatisation gains (e.g. lack of collateral or start up capital, or of both), lack of networks, and traditional views on women’s role. Thus, it is necessary to identify those features of the business environment that differ for women and for men. This includes the following:
- Structural features: these are explicit characteristics of the business environment that treat female-owned enterprises and male-owned enterprises differently. Examples of such structural biases include policies, laws and regulations that prohibit women from owning property in their own right. Another, more positive example, might be a small-enterprise advisory board or oversight committee that contains a specified equal number of women and men.
- Behavioural or attitudinal features: bias in the treatment of women and men, and of female-owned enterprises and male-owned enterprises, may be removed from policies, laws and regulations, but may be found to persist in the implementation of these policies, laws and regulations, because of behavioural or attitudinal reasons. Sexist practices, for example, may occur in the administration of policies, laws and regulations.
- Impact variations: while it may not be possible to immediately identify structural or behavioural elements of gender bias, it may be possible to determine the affect of these by the impact they have on enterprise development. There may, for example, be a high proportion of female-owned enterprises in the microenterprise sector and a far lower proportion in small and medium-sized enterprises. Alternatively, it may be that women participate less in business associations than do men; or that the growth of female-owned enterprises is constrained by greater restrictions on the access women have to finance, compared to men. Such findings help to trace these experiences back to determine whether the source of the restriction is structural or behavioural.
- Promotional policies, laws and regulations: promotional policies, laws and regulations may be formulated by governments to redress the impact of other policies, laws and regulations, or to achieve a specified social and economic outcome. This may, for example, include policies that promote female-owned enterprises, as well as other policies that encourage young men and women into business, or people with disabilities.
Gender analysis tools help policy makers and practitioners to better understand the realities of the women and men whose lives are affected by planned development. Principally it is about understanding culture, as expressed in the construction of gender
Analysis of Gender and Women’s Economic Empowerment 24 identities and inequalities. Finnegan (2003) suggests that a gender analysis should identify the situations and circumstances facing both women and men within the target market before planning any intervention in private-sector development. This information would include their respective socio-economic profiles, their educational and skills base, their access to and control over economic resources, the scope and scale of economic activities, their aspirations and motivations, and their additional commitments within the household and the community.
Esim (2001) indicates how little the current approaches to market development have been successfully applied to women’s enterprise promotion. She supports the proposal by Mayoux (1995) that there should be two approaches to achieving women’s business growth: a market approach, which aims to assist individual women entrepreneurs in increasing their incomes and expanding their businesses; and an empowerment approach which aims to increase not only their incomes, but also the bargaining power of producers.
Recent reviews of gender and economic growth in Africa show that businesswomen are disproportionately disadvantaged by business registration procedures, limited access to finance and obstacles to property ownership (Ellis et al., 2006, Ellis et al., 2007).
In Kenya, it has been proposed that support in private sector development (PSD) should move ‘from firm-level interventions to focus more on addressing the systemic, underlying issues that create barriers for female-owned businesses’ (Ellis et al., 2007, p. 95).
In 2006, the World Bank launched its Gender Action Plan to promote women’s empowerment in the economic sectors, and in particular in infrastructure (i.e. energy, transport, and water and sanitation), agriculture, PSD, and finance.1 This will be achieved by: (1) intensifying gender mainstreaming in operations of the World Bank and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), as well as through regional economic and sector work; (2) mobilising resources to implement and scale up results-based initiatives that empower women economically; (3) improving the knowledge and statistics on women’s economic participation and the relationship between gender equality, growth, and poverty reduction; and (4) undertaking a targeted communications campaign to foster partnerships on the importance of women’s economic contributions and to execute the plan (World Bank Group, 2006).2 At a meeting in Berlin in February 2007, the German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development hosted a conference entitled ‘Women's economic empowerment as smart economics: a dialogue on policy options’.
In its concluding ‘Call for Action’, the conference agreed to ‘assist our partners in the south by giving greater visibility to gender equality and women’s empowerment in our support towards the implementation of poverty reduction strategies e.g. by engendering Joint Assistance Strategies’, as well as to ‘support women’s voices to be fully heard in all decisions about poverty reduction, economic growth and opportunities’ (German Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, 2007, pp. 85-87).
1 The Gender Action Plan is supported by Canada, Denmark, Germany, Norway, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. 2 In an effort to promote gender responsiveness in the private sector, the Gender Action Programme will: (1) engender Investment Climate Assessments in nine countries (three per year); undertake analytical work on gender and firm productivity, and female entrepreneurship; and (3) organise workshops with policymakers, private sector representatives, and labour leaders (World Bank Group, 2006, p. 12).