IWFSA concerned over the lack of gender inclusiveness in the 2021 budget

Johannesburg, 25 February 2021 – The International Women’s Forum South Africa (IWFSA) which recently facilitated the launch of the Gender Based Violence and Femicide Response Fund to augment current funds aimed at tackling the scourge, has noted with concern over the lack of gender inclusiveness in the 2021 Budget delivered by Finance Minister Minister Tito Mboweni.

Sanitary towels

Whilst the IWFSA welcomes the allocation of funds towards the distribution of sanitary pads to girl children in schools, we believe that Minister Mboweni missed a golden opportunity to remove Value Added Tax or any taxes on sanitary towels.

Also, the reduction in the social grants by R5.8billion in 2021/22 is regrettable as many recipients of social grants are women supporting families who have been significantly impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic.

Whilst the IWFSA understands the strain on the fiscus at best the allocation of grants should have remained unchanged.

Women and agriculture

Women play such critical role in food production both from primary production and cooking. The support for the agricultural sector is long over and will ensure increased household food security and support of micro agricultural production facilities that are owned by women.  This is a good lifeline. 

If this budget seeks to build vibrant economy, women must be the primary beneficiary so that we lift South Africa out of its current economic woes. 

Sin taxes

As the main purposes of imposing sin taxes are to reduce the consumption of harmful goods and to increase government revenue, the IWFSA will lobby strongly for a percentage of the ‘sin’ tax levied on the sale of alcohol to be channeled towards the newly formed GBVF Response Fund1.

The GBVF Response Fund 1, structured with the highest governance and due-diligence protocols grounded on principles of fairness, integrity, empowerment, social consciousness and measurable impact, is a vehicle through which the private sector can make financial and non-financial and wider contributions.

The IWFSA is ready to partner with the government on scalable projects that have catalytic impact.


IWFSA is the South African chapter of the International Women’s Forum (“IWF”), a global organisation of over 7 000 pre-eminent women of significant and diverse achievement from across 36 nations and 6 continents.  IWFSA was established more than 20 years ago and our membership consists of women leaders and achievers drawn from heads of industry and state, artists and academics, thought leaders and decision makers.

Issued by The Media and Writers Firm on behalf of the International Women’s Forum South Africa.

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Nothemba Mkhondo – Nothemba.Mkhondo@mediaandwritersfirm.com