Minister makes call for gender parity

2011-05-21 14:16

The Ministry for Women, Children and People with Disabilities today called for gender parity in mayoral and speaker positions.

“The inability of many opposition parties to support women participation demonstrates the urgent need for us to move with speed in the development of the Gender Equality Bill,” said Minister Lulu Xingwana.

“It will enforce the principle of 50-50 gender parity in all sectors of our society.”

She was addressing a meeting by the Progressive Women’s Movement of SA.

The meeting resolved that high ranking positions for women should not be limited to smaller municipalities, but should be visible in metropolitan municipalities.

International Relations and Co-operation Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, North West Premier and Deputy ANC Secretary Thandi Modise, and Deputy Higher Education Minister Hlengiwe Mkhize were among those who attended the meeting.

On Tuesday, a gender empowerment body said the election would see a decline of women representation in politics.

Gender Links chief executive Colleen Lowe Morna predicted that women’s representation would decrease from the current level of 40% to 38%.

This was largely because many political parties did not have enough women candidates.

According to the Independent Electoral Commission, of the more than 53 000 candidates, 19 731 women were up for election, compared with 15 718 female candidates in the 2006 local government elections.

The ANC had come close to honouring its commitment to gender parity, with 47% female candidates in the 2011 polls, but other parties had not done so.

Despite the DA having two female leaders, it only had 33% of women in the election.

Some parties had no women registered as candidates.

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