/ 2 May 2001


POVERTY elimination strategies should treat women not only as the worst victims of poverty, but also as potential agents of change, Education Minister Kader Asmal said on Monday. In a speech prepared for delivery at the opening of an expert group meeting on water-related environmental education in African cities, Asmal said there was little recognition of the positive contribution of women to development and change. Asmal said: “Investment in education of the girl child is fundamental for the empowerment of women. And such empowerment is the beginning of a more dynamic strategy for the elimination of poverty”. Asmal also said the outbreak of cholera in the country highlighted that the government had not invested sufficient resources to ensure that all South Africans had access to and use of proper sanitation facilities.