Much like a lot of industries that are deemed to require physical strength and which are laborious in nature, being male dominated, the motor industry is no different. Even though this notion is slowly but surely changing, we still have a long way to go in terms of human resource, structure and the mind-set changes required in order to reach the desired state.
From a young age the thinking behind cars being for the boy child is instilled in society by way of toy cars being purchased for boys and even clothing items that have cars, trains, etc. being made and purchased for boys. On the other hand, girls playing with cars at a young age are viewed as somewhat bizarre. It is no wonder that as adults the same phenomenon and ideology is carried on, invariably impacting our lives.
For over 100 years the motor industry has been dominated by men. For this reason MISA recently appealed to the South African retail motor industry to accelerate gender equality within the sector.
According to the most recent study by the Gender Equality Agency, women continue to represent approximately 20 % of the automotive segment. Doing away with the notion that certain industries, or jobs, are for men or are best suited for men, is a key element in addressing gender inequality and discrimination in this and other industries, especially in light of technological advances which continue to make work easier and accessible to all, regardless of gender.
October 11th, marks International Day of the Girl Child. According to the United Nations, the day was adopted in 2011 in order to recognize the rights of girls and the unique challenges they face around the world, as well as to promote empowering girls. If girl children are supported at a young age, and are given access to all opportunities, they have the power to effect change in a real and positive way. According to the World Bank, ensuring that girls are educated and empowered isn’t just about getting them into school, it goes further than that and involves:
The ripple effect in investing in a girl child can have extraordinary outcomes.
The pandemic exposed the importance of inclusivity when it comes to girls, and in turn women. Over the past year, countries with women leaders have had the lowest COVID-19 transmission rates and are often better positioned for recovery. This in turn means that millions of lives have been saved. Women’s organisations or women led organisations have also played a big role and filled the gaps in providing critical services and information, especially at community level. In general, when women lead in government, there is more interest and investment in social protection and improvement in the fight against poverty. This serves as a solid argument supporting the necessity of the inclusion of women in politics and policy making.
In the ongoing fight for gender equality, it is important to also remember that education and exposure of the younger generation, including the boy child, is very important. This year, and going forward, lets observe and commemorate International Day of the Girl Child, by ensuring that we play a part in all structures in ending discrimination, gender inequality, empowering and amplifying the voice of the girl child and women in general.
In its activities, MISA ensures that both Girl and Boy Children are equitably exposed to the retail motor industry by providing them with insight into job opportunities within the industry through the MISA Boy/Girl-Child-at-Work Day, as well as partnering with dealerships for the provision of Job Shadowing opportunities within the industry, for interested and eligible scholars.
MISA also goes further by providing educational funding and educational assistance benefits for members and their children, based on the applicable terms and conditions of these benefits.
If you are interested in knowing more about these crucial activities, please contact us at Training@ms.org.za or 011 476 3920.