Young women up-skilled

Nomafrench Mbombo, Western Cape MEC for Health, attended two empowerment sessions of Young Women and Girls (YWG) project titled “Woman of Worth” in Gugulethu and Nyanga on Tuesday, respectively.

This Women’s Month, she said, her government is driving the #NathiSithi_Hayi campaign, which calls on society to say no to abuse and yes to the empowerment of all women.

The YWG project was launched in 2016 and supported by the Global Fund, goes beyond the health sector by addressing the drivers behind young women’s risk of abuse, their dependency on abusers as well as the risks of contracting HIV.

Mbombo said: “Today, I joined a session focussed on young women between the ages of 19 to 24 in Gugulethu and Nyanga which form part of the Klipfontein/Mitchell’s Plain sub-district, where there is a high susceptibility to HIV infection and unintended pregnancies.

“Factors include poverty, gender inequality and limited education, which is why the programme is aimed at reaching young women to assist them with skills that empower.”

She said having access to the economy and opportunities is essential to break the cycle of dependency.

Sisanda Macosana (19), one of the young women, said she is hoping to gain more knowledge from the sessions.

“I have learnt a lot already on how to embrace myself as a woman and I hope to learn more. I would also like to encourage more young women to join,” said Macosana­.

Anda Titi (22) said: “I hope to pass on what I have learnt here to other young women out there because we face the same kind of problems.”

Nonela Layiti, the Women of Worth facilitator, said they want to empower young women, teach them about HIV and Aids and to be independent.