Johannesburg - The appointment of only one female provincial
premier by the ANC is alarming, the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) said
"[This] seems to be a clear step backwards in the fight
for gender equality and 50/50 balance in political representation between men
and women in this year's elections," the commission said.
"This decision is a regressive move in terms of the
challenge of promoting gender equality in South African politics, especially at
the highest levels of decision making in government."
The African National Congress on Tuesday announced its
choice of premiers for the eight provinces it won in the 7 May elections.
Of the eight only the Northern Cape had a female premier -
On Wednesday, the Western Cape - which was won by the DA in
the election - elected party leader Helen Zille as premier.
ANC deputy secretary general Jessie Duarte on Tuesday said
the ANC was disappointed in the lack of female premiers, but denied this was
because there was a lack of leadership among women.
To counter the problem the ANC's national executive
committee decided to ensure that for every province with a male premier there
had to be a female speaker, and 60% of the provincial executive committee had
to be women.
After the 2009 elections, the ANC had four female premiers.
The CGE believed this reduction of female premiers cast a
shadow on the gains made in the 2009 elections.
"While the CGE acknowledges the commitment of the
ruling party to balance this reduction... by appointing more female provincial
legislature speakers, this is hardly an equivalent substitute or trade-off,
given that the post of legislature speaker does not bear the same
constitutional, legislative, and political authority as that of provincial
premier," it said.
The commission called on the ANC to re-consider its