The WRC supports the Techno Girl programme by the Ministry of Women, Children and People with Disabilities
The Department for Women, Children and People with Disabilities (DWCPD) was set up by the President Jacob Zuma in 2009 as a way of speeding up the achievement of gender equality and empowerment of women in South Africa. With this Department in place, a groundbreaking initiative the ‘Techno Girl’ has taken a lead in empowering young women as early as grade 9 in the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths. Minister Lulu Xingwana officially lauched the programme on 4 November 2011 at the Sandton Convention Centre. The WRC has recently entered into a partnership with the DWCPD in giving job shadowing opportunities to at least 4 girl learners coming from historically disadvantaged communities.
Through a strong partnership of the South African government and its partner UNICEF, the benefits are in the project’s ability to motivate girl learners, improve education outcomes and contribute towards the attainment of gender equality. For girl learners, the programme enhances prospects for a successful professional career. For the hosting organisations, Techno Girl provides an opportunity to nature a pool of future graduates who can contribute towards meeting their companies’ transformation targets.
To date Techno Girl has been successfully implemented in a number of provinces around the country: Gauteng, KwaZulu-Natal, Limpopo and North West. It is now being scaled up to become a nation-wide project. During the launch Minister Lulu Xingwana said “I had the pleasure of presenting the Techno Girl Programme to the 55th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York. I was also happy to share the platform with Khanyisile Mokeke a 17- year -old grade 12 learner from Soweto. Her passion and eloquence to pursue a career in mining wonderfully demonstrated the benefits that the programme brings to girls in historically disadvantaged communities ’’.
A University of Witwatersrand student, Nomthandazo Bhembe, who was orphaned early in her childhood, currently registered for a Bsc. in Civil Engineering also shared her testimony that the Techno Girl Programme assisted her in making good career choices and thanked her teacher for introducing her to such opportunities.
Minister Lulu Xingwana prides herself about the existence of this initiative and maintains that it covers two of South Africa’s key national priorities: education and job creation at the same time. Education remains the key economic driver for growth and social change around the world.
Starting from 2 April 2012, the WRC will be providing job shadowing support to learners of Babina Phuti Junior Secondary from Tshwane North District (Rachel Phiri, Ofentse Mazibuko, Tshiamo Moahloli and Harmony Molefi) for one week every school holiday until they are in grade 12. It is however important to stress that this will only be possible through the necessary support from all the WRC staff members.
Contact: Hlengiwe Cele, Knowledge Dissemination Officer