Women still under-represented in metros - Report

2016-10-04 22:06

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Johannesburg – Nelson Mandela Bay has the lowest number of women in its council among the country’s eight metros, the Commission for Gender Equality revealed in a study released on Tuesday.

Following the local government elections in August, women made up a third (33.3%) of its council.

The commission conducted a gender analysis of the outcomes of the 2016 local government elections in the country’s eight metropolitan municipalities. Additional information was obtained from the Electoral Commission of SA’s (IEC) website.

More male councillors were elected compared to female councillors.

Of the 1477 councillors in the eight metros, 569 (38.5%) were women. 

“The overall level of women’s representation in the eight metros is not only lower; it has also declined compared to male representation after the 2016 local government elections.”

This was based on numerous research findings in the past, according to which the fortunes and progress of women’s representation in South African politics tended to be closely tied to the political fortunes of the ANC, it said.

The ANC lost the Nelson Mandela Bay, Tshwane, and Johannesburg metros to the DA and other opposition parties in this year’s elections.

The Buffalo City municipality in the Eastern Cape had the largest representation of women councillors among the eight metros, at 46%.

Cape Town was in second place with 40.3%, followed by the City of Johannesburg (39.6%), Ethekwini (38.5%), Ekurhuleni (37.5%), Mangaung (37%) and Tshwane (36.4%).

None of the eight metros reached the 50% voluntary target for women representation for ward council seats.

More male PR councillors were elected across the eight metros compared to women. Ethekwini had the largest proportion of women PR councillors, at 54.8%.

The commission recommended that government legislate a quota system for women's representation, which should be mandatory for all political parties.  


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