Women still facing discrimination in SA - Zuma

2015-08-09 16:19
(Jenni Evans, News24)

(Jenni Evans, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Sasolburg - Working women are still being discriminated against in South Africa, in spite of great strides being made towards equality, President Jacob Zuma said at a Women's Day rally in Sasolburg on Sunday.

"Women appear to be stuck in both middle and junior management," Zuma told around 21 000 women, mostly ANC supporters, gathered at the Harry Gwala multipurpose centre on the fringes of the fuel-producing town.

Zuma, who received the first "Report on the Status of Women in South Africa" from the Office of Women in the Presidency , said that according to research, remnants of unfair discrimination still persist in every area of the country, especially in the labour market.

"Women are discriminated against if they are pregnant or married," said Zuma, adding that this was more prevalent in the private sector.

Women were paid unequally and experienced sexual harassment in the work place, which hinders their progress.

"These women are entitled to respect," he said.

He said women had kept up resistance to the hated laws governing the carrying of a "passbook" but to this day, black women in particular suffered from the legacy of apartheid.

Zuma said including women in the economy did not mean they should be relegated to micro enterprises or informal businesses.

He acknowledged more women were in senior positions than ever before, but it was not enough. More women should be serving on boards where a country's direction is decided.

Since the advent of democracy in 1994, progress has been made regarding the status of women, he said.

"Attitudes are changing, women are more involved in decision making, many laws that affect women have been changed, and women are encouraged to participate in the economy," Zuma said. 

The country had advanced from having a National Assembly (NA) comprising 2.7% women before 1994, to the current 41% female representation in Parliament.

Speaker Baleka Mbete and chairperson of the National Council of Provinces Thandi Modise illustrated how women are leading the country, said Zuma of the women often criticised for protecting him during question time in Parliament.

According to statistics he received, in Cabinet, 43% of members are women, and 45.9% are deputy ministers.

At local government level, 38.4% of councillors are women, following the 2011 local government elections.  

Women constitute 33% of judges in South Africa at present, compared with two white female judges in 1994.

"Now in democracy there are 61 women judges, of which 48 are black women," he said.

In the senior management of the public service, 40% are women, as opposed to only 21% of top executive positions in the private sector being held by women and 32% in senior management positions, he said. 

Zuma said poverty and unemployment still hangs over the country, but the spread of HIV/Aids is being reversed.

He said the march to freedom for women would continue, and ended his address with "Happy Women's Day".

As his entourage prepared to leave, long queues snaked along the field, of women waiting to receive a food parcel, while other headed for their buses back home, stopping to browse at the ANC-branched merchandise, occasionally muttering darkly about some of the prices which their budgets did not stretch to.

The "Report on the Status of Women in South Africa" is available on www.women.gov.za.

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  gender equality

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Competition regulation for a growing and inclusive economy

ADVERTORIAL: The Competition Commission of South Africa is conducting advocacy work in the South African automotive aftermarket industry and has gazetted a Draft Code of Conduct for public comment.


6 myths about male cancer

It is important to be aware of the most prevalent cancer diseases amongst men in our country.


You won't want to miss...

Who are the highest paid models of 2017?
10 gorgeous plus-sized models who aren't Ashley Graham
5 top leg exercises for men
10 best dressed men of 2017
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.