Gender Equality: Draft bill would ensure 50% of staff are women

2012-08-02 00:00

CAPE TOWN — A regulation that would compel businesses to ensure that at least 50% of their staff are women, is at an “advanced stage”, Minister for Women, Children and People with Disabilities Lulu Xingwana said yesterday.

She told the media the draft bill on Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women would be tabled in Parliament this year.

“It will help ensure that the government and the private sector reach this target. It will also set guidelines on how woman should be empowered,” she said.

August is Women’s Month, when women’s empowerment especially is to be celebrated.

“South Africa has some of the most progressive policies on the the empowerment of women and gender parity. The big challenge is in the implementation of these policies,” Xingwana said. Women were still discriminated against in economic and job opportunities, as well as in access to land and to financing.

She also expressed concern at violence against women and the increase in the number of sexual assaults being reported.

The National Council on Gender Violence, under the leadership of Deputy President Kgalema Motlanthe, is set to be launched this month.

It will be a platform for state departments, NGOs and other civil society organisations to work together to combat violence against women and children.

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