Gender bill expected soon

2012-08-01 15:28

Cape Town - The women empowerment and gender equality bill is almost ready to go to Cabinet, Women's Minister Lulu Xingwana said on Wednesday.

The legislation is expected to make gender equity in the private and public sector mandatory.

Xingwana told media at Parliament that work on the policy document, which would pave the way for the bill to be introduced, was at an advanced stage.

The bill is likely to list penalties for those who do not meet gender equity targets.

"South Africa has made commitments through the Constitution, various pieces of legislation, and international conventions to respect, promote, protect, and advance the rights of women. We have a duty and obligation to honour these commitments," she said.

Last year, the minister lamented the fact that at the time there were still 52 JSE-listed companies with not a single woman at directorship or executive management level.

"I must agree that there hasn't been much progress in the past year. This is why we have been determined to come up with the bill," Xingwana said.

The minister is pushing for 50/50 gender representation in political parties, companies, community organisations, traditional councils, and all other organs of society.

Xingwana said it was hoped the bill would become law early next year.

"We will therefore be able to come up with sanctions and measures that will ensure companies, organisations, and political parties comply," she said.

  • peter.jefferies.90 - 2012-08-01 15:47

    So as a white male I am totally stuffed now in SA? - 2012-08-01 15:58

      Oh please don't be a drama queen!! - 2012-08-01 20:25

      you make it out like white south african men have it difficult... if that true next time you go out have a look around who is managing and who are the workers.. especially in small businesses. If you think white males are getting a raw deal take off the blinkers!

  • CassandraXabata - 2012-08-01 15:49

    Who says that women want to make up 50% of the labour force? Or men for that matter. There are more urban men than women in the world, and by extension SA. If so, why must men be discriminated against? Stop making laws to fix things that do not work. Rather create a society in which women are respected and treasured and given equal opportunity by choice. This will not happen until the government sort out the education system. Not finding rapists of old women will not either, and a condoning a culture of violence against lesbians just foster further discrimination. Where are the marches and activists for these matters? Or are they not popular issues warranting KFC and T-shirts. Nice to make a stand against youth subsidies when these are suggested to achieve exactly what the bill would do. Except the bill will not create jobs!!!

  • - 2012-08-01 16:03

    Gender equality and race equality can't be enforced by law it just doesn't work. Educated woman and educated non-whites do very well in the private and public sector! No quick fix to this problem you got to get the foundations right before trying to fix the roof!

      tshepo.selelane - 2012-08-01 16:38

      Great comment and I agree with you. Teach me how to fish instead. But history has also shown how those in power tend to want to hold on to it. I would imagine that the laws try to even that out.

  • Hermann - 2012-08-01 16:14

    There we go again genitals before capability.

  • jake.neumann.35 - 2012-08-01 16:36

    I cannot understand this feverish drive of this government to completely trash the South African economy. As a business owner, I cannot employ women to fill certain jobs only because this so-called government says so. In some sections of my business females just won't make it. I am paying taxes and a lot of it and it is my right to employ the person that is ideal for a specific job and not because some or other bloated frog says I cannot.

  • allan.keyzer - 2012-08-01 16:38

    Legislation does not change behavior especially in South Africa where no legislation is enforced. From the basic laws of science "for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction" trying to protect one group of society normally results in their demise. A FREE society must decide who to associate with, do business with, mix with etc. but the question is despite the every day use of the word "FREEDOM" are we a free society? Born free and legislated to death.

  • grace.andtruth.77 - 2012-08-01 17:16

    I bet this won't benefit white women!

  • Paulnicomp - 2012-08-01 17:23

    I am not against gender equality but if the govt wants business to create jobs they have got to give them the freedom to employ who they want to. If you do not do that every piece of legislation and associated reporting etc. just becomes a reason not to employ anyone.

  • martin.pearce.3762 - 2012-08-01 18:19

    What's next, the childrens equity bill? The Moron's equity bill? Sorry the last one is already filled.

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