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Coega Development Corporation marks 16 Days of Activism

Dec 6, 2016
Coega Development Corporation marks 16 Days of Activism

The Coega Development Corporation (CDC) as a microcosm of its surroundings seeks to empower women through various organizational policies and programmes. The organization ensures that it progressively instills policies that affirm the socio-economic status of women in the work place.

“The CDC as responsible and caring institution supports efforts such as the 16 Days of Activism for no violence against Women and Children,” says Dr Ayanda Vilakazi, CDC unit head marketing and communications.

As is the case globally as well as South Africa, emotional and sexual violence against women and children continues to escalate at a high rate.

The right to be free from violence is enshrined in the South African Constitution and section nine of the constitution clearly proscribes gender-based inequality.

In compliance with this, CDC has proactively put into place measures that seek to redress this global scourge of inequality against women and children.

As part of CDC’s efforts to promote gender equality and women empowerment, CDC appointed females at top management and board level.

The organisation has thus embarked upon an exclusive and focused Women Leadership Advancement Programme (WLAP 2014) a developmental and coaching programme focusing on 20 women who are occupying senior positions within the organisation. The programme is intended to develop or advance them towards leadership maturity, premised on the CDC Leadership Maturity Framework.

However, CDC’s impact does not just remain within the four walls of the organisation it equally extends to communities around the Eastern Cape and South Africa.

Poverty, inequality and unemployment are recognized as conditions under which violence thrives. In an effort to eradicate these challenges, the organisation continues to prioritise the employment of local labour on a ratio of 70%-30% in both urban and rural areas across the country. Since inception, the CDC has created about 96 776 job opportunities.

In compliance with the national agenda of fast-tracking the empowerment of women and address issues of enforcement and compliance towards the attainment of gender equality, the CDC has established a number of Corporate Social Investment (CSI) programmes that seek to empower woman and children in South Africa.

Techno Girl Job Shadowing Programme - The programme entails girls following a structured job-shadowing programme at various job shadowing host organisations. Girls are placed in companies whose core business activities are focused on scarce career fields in STEM where women are under-represented. Girls are placed within a host organisation for five days three times per year over a four-year period.

Palmerton Women Empowerment Programme - Lusikisiki; the programme currently benefits over 30 women who have decided to take an active part in the growth of their communities. The programme provides skills development and training through business ventures such as entrepreneurship, training in shoe making, sewing, jewelry making, pottery etc.

As an institution that recognises the environment in which it operates and thus, supports the socio-economic activities of communities in areas of operation, the CDC also partners with various Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) to address issues of concern within communities.

The CDC is working with Healing Minds Cooperative, an NGO situated in Walmer Township in the Nelson Mandela Bay that seeks to redress issues of poverty by engaging in farming activities. The NGO consist of 12 members all of which are women.

“We know the effect of violence against children has far-reaching implications and it has been proven that witnessing or experiencing any emotional, sexual or physical violence can cause lifelong damage,” said Thandi Rayi, CDC CSI Manager.

The organization has crime preventing support groups, HIV support groups, Victim support groups, home base care, garden projects, feeding scheme for widows, sick, orphans and vulnerable children, youth and is more focused on empowering women in in the surrounding areas.

Image: EMPOWERING YOUNG WOMEN:Zola Ngoma, CDC Unit Head: Performance and Talent Management addressing school girls during the CDC’s 2016 Women’s Month celebrations