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Call for ‘gender-responsive’ budgeting

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first_img3 August 2012Minister for Women, Children and People with Disabilities Lulu Xingwana has called for “gender-responsive” budgeting to be used as a tool for reducing inequality and advancing women’s empowerment.“We are fully aware that budgets have been instrumental in perpetuating gender biases globally,” Xingwana said during the launch of South Africa’s Women’s Month in Pretoria on Wednesday. “We also know that budgets can be instrumental in transforming and redressing existing gender inequalities.”Earlier this year, the department launched the Women and Budgeting Initiative in partnership with the Motsepe Foundation. The aim was to reflect on the budgeting process and economic frameworks and how these could constrain or promote the development and implementation of policies aimed at empowering women and vulnerable groups.South Africans will commemorate Women’s Month under the theme “56 Years of Women United against Poverty, Inequality and Unemployment”.The government declared August Women’s Month as a tribute to the thousands of women who marched, on 9 August 1956, in protest against the extension of apartheid’s hated Pass Laws to women.Xingwana said South Africa had registered significant progress in women’s empowerment and gender equality.“An array of measures, introduced since 1994 to promote women empowerment and uphold gender equality, have drastically improved the position and conditions of women in our country. Women occupy influential positions in government and play an important role in decision-making processes.”Xingwana pointed out, however, that women still bore a disproportionate burden of the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment.“Women continue to be marginalised and discriminated against in terms of economic opportunities, the labour market as well as access to land, credit and finance.”Xingwana said the process of developing the Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill was at an advanced stage, and it would be tabled before Cabinet during the 2012/13 financial year.The Bill will help enforce compliance in both the government and the private sector.Source: SANews.gov.zalast_img read more

The Digital Age promises growth

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first_imgIf governments and the private sector continue to invest in infrastructure, the digital economy could add $300-billion a year to Africa’s GDP, according to discussion papers at the World Economic Forum: Africa 2017, being held in Durban, South Africa from 3 to 5 May 2017.Two young girls attend a training on computer science at the technical school in Mellit, North Darfur. (Image: Albert Gonzalez Farran, UNAMID)Sulaiman PhilipThe Third Industrial Revolution transformed Africa. It made it easier for young Africans to create their own companies and rely less on traditional nine-to-five employment. Now comes the Fourth Industrial Revolution and the birth of a truly digital economy.The digital economy is a key topic at the World Economic Forum: Africa 2017, being held in Durban, South Africa from 3 to 5 May 2017, and papers at the gathering have unpacked its potential.Despite a slow start, the development of Africa’s digital infrastructure is speeding up — resulting in African digital entrepreneurs developing innovative web-based apps and new ways of doing business.Digital apps such as mPedigree, M-Farm and Frontline SMS, have found African solutions to African challenges. Digital entrepreneurs are making it easier and safer to live, work and travel across Africa.The digital economy is growing despite Africa trailing the rest of the world in connectivity rates — a challenge that is shaping the kind of digital products being developed. A lack of connectivity has made entrepreneurs more creative but it will constrict opportunities in the future.The Masiphumelele, Cape Town, library offers internet access, digital literacy and computer training in a community that is mostly young and unemployed (Image: Beyond Access)The technology-driven revolution will mean the death of routine blue- and white-collar jobs as the continent embraces automation. Employers will need more adaptable and innovative staff.High-skilled jobs in the fields of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) will increase. African governments eager to build on this new future need to provide the infrastructure that allows citizens to access the digital world for learning and to do business.Governments need to embrace the innovative mind-set to build a population that creates technology and not just consumes it. They need to replace traditional approaches to education and delivering services. For example, Morocco’s e-Notary services digitises some legal services, making it less expensive to litigate.Embracing technology such as cloud services will not only make it cheaper for governments to deliver services, but will also improve data collection and analysis which in turn improves the quality and types of services delivered.Inclusive developmentIf Africa does not manage the growth of the digital transformation, the danger exists that the income gap could worsen. Administrations need to embrace the development of STEM fields. Africa will move to become a skills-based economy; an investment in 21st century education is crucial. Africa needs, as a continent and as individual countries, to introduce polices and strategies that will transform the lives of Africans. A prosperous and inclusive future for the continent requires new ways of thinking from governments today.Data is the diamonds and gold of the digital age. It is the commodity on which societies can create opportunities. Governments need to empower their citizens by releasing data and not regulating access.Programmes such as South Africa’s national broadband strategic plan, Connect, will make broadband access affordable to 90% of the population by 2020 and 100% by 2030. This is one way of allowing citizens to affordably participate in the information economy.A new way to beat challengesAfrica’s digitally savvy youth are finding new solutions to intractable problems. The agriculture, health and education sector are seeing innovations that are improving the quality of life of students, pregnant women and small-scale commercial farmers, among others users, across the continent.Legislation that creates a more business friendly environment will help to build a larger entrepreneurial pool that will increase economic growth. Embracing Microsoft’s cloud computing initiative, Africa Open for Business, has helped investors navigate complex business and governance legislations by streamlining regulations and making it easier to do business.Silicon Valley entrepreneurs speak of “moving fast and breaking things” as they remake the world. Governments, especially African governments, do not have the luxury of moving ahead at breakneck speed without considering the consequences of their actions. So, while governments are more deliberative, they do need to embrace the world of disruption and change.The ability to adapt to these changes will define economic growth, good governance, job creation and innovation. It is time for Africa to embrace the new motto of social network Facebook. As it grew, CEO Mark Zuckerberg refined the move fast motto: “Move fast with stable infrastructure. It may not be as catchy as move fast and break things, but it’s how we operate now.”Africa can move beyond a continent of promise to become a continent of opportunity and growth if governments embrace the disruption and change and promise of the digital age.For Africa to compete in the digital economy, government and private sector investment is required to build infrastructure. (Image: Eric Parker)last_img read more

Watch for soybean diseases after big rains

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first_imgShare Facebook Twitter Google + LinkedIn Pinterest I looked at the soybean prices on Sunday – all were still less than $10/Bushel.  This price combined with yield losses due to late planting, extra expenses for additional late weed control, and flood injury really put the kibosh on all but the most guaranteed return on investment for the remainder of 2015.  Here are a few guidelines, results from our studies in Ohio that point to the best return on investment.Foliar pathogens have the most impact on soybeans at the later growth stages (R3 to R6) by reducing the photosynthetic area of the leaves that contribute to pod development and seed growth (http://www.oardc.osu.edu/soyrust/2007edition/10-SoybeanGrowthandDevelopment.pdf).  Soybeans also have an uncanny ability to compensate for missing neighbors.  The profitability measure for the 2015 season will be to scout for the occurrence of diseases after flowering R3 and choose the best fungicide if necessary.Septoria brown spot.  This is a lower canopy disease, which surprisingly, we have not been getting too many reports of this year.  Where we are, it is from fields that are planted into continuous soybean and have heavy residue.  Even in these situations, the yield loss for this is still on average 2 to 3 bu/A.Frogeye leaf spot.  This disease we are monitoring, not only because there are a few highly susceptible varieties but also because there are reports from Illinois, Indiana, and up and down the Mississippi of populations that are no longer managed by the strobilurin class of fungicides.  If you see it, please send this to the lab ASAP, so we can run some tests.  We have seen yield differences with low levels of disease (5 to 12% leaf area affected) of 5 to 10 bu/Acre.  This is the one to keep an eye out for but the timing for sprays is between R3 and early R4.Sclerotinia stem rot or white mold.  For those fields with a long history of this disease, this can cause problems when we have cool nights (a.k.a no air conditioning turned on in your house) and heavy dews.  We have started our scouting for this pathogen as fields begin to get closer to flowering.  However, for those historic areas where white mold is always present AND a susceptible to moderately susceptible variety was planted, a fungicide may be necessary this year.  The key is the timing, and coverage of the fungicide in the field.  The target area is the lower part of the stem.Approach – we have measured significant reductions in white mold when we applied this fungicide at Western branch right before flowering followed by a second application 10 days later.Endura – we have measured significant reductions in white mold with this fungicide with one application timing (R1 – a few plants are beginning to flower in the field).Phoenix and Cadet Herbicides – both have reduced the incidence of white mold in trials in northeast Ohio.  If you are also going after weed escapes, this may also be a tool to consider.Topsin M – this has been the stand by white mold fungicide, but for the past 3 years, we have not been able to measure reductions in disease.Some cautions, we have not been able to reduce white mold with a fungicide nor with a herbicide if the field is planted to a highly susceptible variety and the crop is in full flower and infections have already occurred.  These materials mainly work as protectants and have to be on the plant at those lower nodes to protect it prior to the arrival of the pathogen.In summary, for foliar pathogens there is time to let the plants recover and take a look later in the growing season to determine if the pathogens are present.  This is the year to focus those scouting efforts on highly susceptible varieties.  For historic white mold areas, this will be another year to implement measures on those highly to moderately susceptible varieties.last_img read more

How personal beacons can help keep women safe

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first_imgSmall Business Cybersecurity Threats and How to… Follow the Puck “It’s not at all safe for women to walk around alone in the city at night” is sadly something women often hear.Whether it is a developed or a developing country, women feel unsafe anywhere. Keeping pepper spray or other devices can bring comfort, but may not be a safer solution. You need something that guarantees complete protection and also alerts your family or 911 at the time of emergency. You need personal safety alert device.What are personal safety devices?Personal safety comprises of not only physical safety but also psychosomatic protection. It includes freedom from worry about physical safety as well as belligerence and harassment. Women must be aware of all these terms because many times they have to face different physical or mental abuse from the people around them. See also: Can safety wearables really stop crimes against women?Many companies have stepped forward to work in this direction and even come up with some unique ideas in the form of innovative safety devices to protect women from stalkers. One of the successful devices that have helped several women to protect themselves and alert their loved ones at the time of emergency is personal safety beacon.A safety beacon is a wearable device that women can wear on their wrist, around their neck as a pendant or put it on their vehicle key ring. These devices are gaining a strong foothold in the market as they offer complete safety to the women of all age groups. From school going girls to working women, this device assures safety to all of them. How does this safety device work?These safety beacons are GPS based devices that get activated on the click of a button and share your location information with 911 or your loved ones. When your life is in danger or there is some medical emergency, you can’t control them through a call. Simply click distress beacon and it will be activated instantly despite your location. Whether you are traveling by air, sea or land, your loved ones will be alert about the emergency situation.This alert signal activates the app stored on your mobile device, which in turn send an alert message with your location or message to all the contacts listed in your safety app. Your family and friends will be notified that you have a problem. You can even make a call through safety beacon. Some wearable safety devices also allow you to send emails and text messages to your contacts. There is a lot of hope from safety wearables and emergency alert apps. Women can carry safety device with them and silently let their loved ones track them even if there is no emergency. This safety gadget will definitely go well with your taste and lifestyle. Choose the best brand safety beacon and emergency app and stay safe. Related Posts Vatandeep Pareekcenter_img Tags:#Internet of Things#IoT#security#wearables#Women safety Internet of Things Makes it Easier to Steal You… Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaceslast_img read more