Education has proven through all history to be the most empowering and liberating tool every nation can count on. As an emerging economy with the socio-economic challenges facing it, South Africa needs strategic and visionary approaches to business. Women empowerment remains central to the country’s transformation agenda requiring rigorous interventions to sustain. Against such background, the Oraglass Silhouette has adopted as one of the pillars building the brand, Education for Effective Leadership. With the shift from born leaders to learned leaders and with economies now opened to women to actively take part, and if education is indeed a process to facilitate learning, then let education be the base for women to be effective and efficient leaders the world seeks. Though South Africa has made significant strides in ensuring women empowerment by way of eradicating the sexist laws and creating a non-sexist workplace environment, the country is still at the phase of its transformation life cycle where rigorous intervention is required to undo the plight of the previous regime, some cultural and traditional practices among others. From a holistic view point, the Oraglass Silhouette seeks to contribute towards addressing development issues facing women more so as the category that suffered the triple effect of the past regime.
Young women are reported to be taking a hind stance on developmental programmes compared to their male counterparts, women with disabilities are still found at the periphery of the economy, yet the full development of South Africa depends on their contributions too. Taking into consideration that for SA to interact competitively even at an international level it will take the active involvement of both women and men, it remains paramount that women empowerment should be intensified. Economically, South Africa stands to be Africa’s powerhouse but the population in numbers is what should open our eyes into ensuring maximum usage of our human capital, male and female. Such a move to ensure that women come on board in their numbers is what will enhance our economies of scale enabling us to play competitively even at global level. Women are reported in various studies including the 2014 study on Factors Affecting Service Delivery Quality in the Public Service, to be lagging behind on development issues that should grow them and their economies.
On the other hand, women are reported to be the worst enemies of their own when it comes to development. This is no outcome of any one particular cause, but a combination of factors; internal, external and more so historical that need to be addressed in a more responsive and sustainable manner. Thus through research, the Oraglass Silhouette has taken a comprehensive look at factors affecting women and development and therefore seeks to address the matter in a more responsive and holistic manner. The acknowledgement that there is a problem is not only a sign of maturity amongst those encountering the problem but in essence, the first step to that problem’s resolution. Thus, issues such as the Pull Her Down (known as PHD) syndrome are given acute attention to establish responsive solutions. Maths for women empowerment even to transform the traditionally male dominated industries like engineering, and other factors at play are given considerable attention in an attempt to create an environment for women to unleash their maximum potential for economic growth in the long run.
Through a programme called "Girls with a Nerve" the Oraglass Silhouette is campaigning for Maths for women empowerment. As illustrated below, young women with determination are taking the challenge to enter the traditionally male dominated industries which are also in high demand in the economy. This and similar interventions should be encouraged and seen more in this effort to maximise South Africa’s economies of scale.
Maths is all about problem solving and how many problems do an average nation has to deal with every day, countless. Maths provides certain cognitive skills
required in problem solving that the education system should reconsider a shift to Maths as a core subject at least until Grade 12.
It becomes paramount that Maths should be the base for every career. Maths provide techniques in approaching problems such as, getting all details surrounding the problem before attempting it, attention to detail and therefore patience. The cognitive skills gained through Maths prove to be working not only for Maths related fields such as engineering, Accounting and the Sciences, but it proves to enhance thinking abilities even in other non-maths fields. A social worker with Maths background for example, will always approach problems differently and in a rather advanced manner than one without Maths. This makes Maths the ever necessary subject our children should be geared to. There will be exceptional scenarios of course where Maths will be a none-starter for a child but let Maths be an empowering tool it has proven itself to be over time.
In addition to sharpening women leadership skills by facilitating an environment of learning, we need to make Maths work for women empowerment as well. A working together with governments is necessary to make Maths work for the growth of the economy.