Women face diverse challenges in southern Africa despite their centrality in ensuring the welfare of the family. The fact that women produce 80% of food in Africa despite owning 1% of land is an indication of the extreme contradiction between access to resources and the potential of women. Women are the recipients of gender in-equality in access to socio-economic resources, lack access to finance and education. They are economically poor; their activities are considered peripheral and are largely dependent on men both socially and economically. Women are also the occupants of precarious locations at work furthering their insecurity and marginalisation. Under this environment, women are also vulnerable to insecure relationships and power relations.
The benefits of trade include increase in formal jobs opportunities for women resulting in greater autonomy through wage paying jobs outside homes that can be invested to improve family health and education. Intensified trade liberalisation destroyed industries dominated by women-textiles and agriculture-retrenching them to the dependence despondency and weakening their power to influence social, economic and political decisions. Dependence on natural resources and agriculture for exports in southern Africa has exposed women to the vagaries of international capitalists. Disputes have arisen as the attracted investments-in agriculture and the extractive sector-became the medium for violating communal land rights and access to food while in-formalising jobs (lowly paid and insecure largely informal contracts).
Rights of women have to be protected in the trade and investment agreements. The organization focuses on advocating for the protection of women rights. From a trade perspective, the organization organises engagement platforms for dialogue and advocacy cantered on the protection of women rights in trade and investment agreements. The organisations will also focus on skills and capacity building of women entrepreneurs in areas that include policy advocacy, tax, trade and entrepreneurial skills.
SEATINI’s dream for a future world is one without war and violence. It is one where nobody needs to go hungry or thirsty, or without clothing, shelter, clean water, ample sources of energy, good health and education, and the higher pursuits of knowledge. It is a dream of a borderless world, where people move freely between climes and cultures, and where social structures, inclusion, culture and dignity give more status than consumer goods. It is a world where the benefits of the phenomenal advancement of science and technology are available to all, where these are applied to satisfy all the reasonable and sensible material needs of the world’s populations, where survival, access to basic needs and dignity are not dependent on paid labour
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