As part of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women and Children Campaign, the deputy minister of Social Development, Ms Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu, has partnered with the United Arab Emirates (UAE) to empower young vulnerable women from poor households with skills that will enable them to be economically independent.
Research evidence shows that abused women sometimes stay in abusive and toxic relationships, not out of choice, but because they are financially dependent on their abusers and leaving their abusive partners may plunge them and their children into poverty.
A total of 100 hundred women between 18-23 years this week took part in a three-day training programme entitled: “Empowering 100 Women Future Leaders in Hospitality Excellence”.
Some of the young women that underwent the training are beneficiaries of social grants. Currently, the majority of social grants recipients (over 45%) are young mothers below the age of 35 years.
During the tabling of the budget vote this year, the Department of Social Development prioritised linking social grant beneficiaries to jobs and economic opportunities as part of its ‘Sustainable Livelihood Approach’.
The training programme was conducted by experts from the Emirates Academy of Hospitality Management and focused on excellence in the hospitality industry, with an aim to impart world-class skills in tourism and hospitality through capacity development.
Focus areas included food and beverage service, hotel front office operations, improving the customer experience, the role of information technology in the hospitality industry, and industry-specific communication skills .
Through the training programme, young women learnt a skilled trade and how to start a small business or get work experience.
The department said this positive ‘asset-based’ approach is intended to assist the young women build a set of skills that will give them a chance to graduate out of the social grant system and to become less financially dependent on their partners.
The training programme, which started on Monday and ended on Wednesday, culminated in a certificate award ceremony.