IEC’s Tlakula calls for quotas on female representation

2011-05-06 10:45

Chief electoral officer Pansy Tlakula called today for a quota system to improve women’s representation in the public and private sector.

She said the Independent Electoral Commission was not happy with the number of women candidates in local government elections to be held on May 18.
“The male/female split is not pleasing at all,” Tlakula told a business breakfast in Johannesburg.

Out of 53 000 candidates only 37% are women.

“We are not pleased with that because women make up 54% of the voters roll ...

“There are a few parties that have zero percent women candidates.”

She said at this rate, especially at local government level, South Africa would not reach the Southern African Development Community goal for a 50/50 gender representation in government by 2015.

On the national level, South Africa’s women representation in parliament compared well with other countries but local government level was a different story, she said.

Tlakula said she believed that the only answer to securing better women representation in both the public and private sector, would be through introducing legislation enforcing it.

“I know it’s controversial ... but we need quotas in the private and public sector,” she told Sapa after the briefing.

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