Women’s League wants 50/50 leadership split

2012-06-29 10:59

The ANC Women’s League wants gender parity in the top leadership of the ANC.

The league also wants a 50/50 gender split in the party conference delegations in a bid to empower women in the governing party.

ANC NEC member Hlengiwe Mkhize said although the ANC has a gender parity policy, this had not worked well for women as most of them were still put in leadership positions as additional members or as deputies to their male counterparts.

Speaking to the media about the outcomes of the policy discussions on gender at the ANC policy conference in Midrand, Mkhize said women were saying the party should “move beyond numbers” games and begin to talk to power-sharing between men and women in the organisation”.

“I don’t know what will happen because we still have these processes up to Mangaung. We are on track, we are doing very well,” she said.

The conference also wants the women’s ministry to ratchet up the gender equality bill to push for gender transformation in both the public and private sectors.

There is also a debate in the party about polygamy.

Gauteng ANCWL chairperson Pat Chueu said polygamy was oppressive to women, but said it had something to do with the way society evolves.

“If you are a woman activist you will not agree with polygamy. But there are women who agree with polygamy and there are men who agree with polygamy.

“We will live with these people in society, and we will still have people who disagree with polygamy. We will have those two views, especially because the ANC is a broad organisation. We can’t expel them from the ANC because they support certain issues,” Chueu said.

The Women’s League has toned down its calls for the decriminalisation of prostitution, saying it still needed to bring on board church groups, traditional communities and civil society.

“There was support for decriminalisation, but the feeling was that let’s go to a summit because we’ve been badly battered. We picked up a campaign with women from the alliance, having not consulted sufficiently with women in the church and organisations.

“People were just shocked. It took us back to that trauma when we introduced the right to abortion. You could see genuine disappointment in us,” she said.

Mkhize said women who are caught up in prostitution and human trafficking would be sent to a academy where they could learn other skills so they could take part in the economy.

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