South Africa: CGE puts DA to the test on 50/50

South Africa: CGE puts DA to the test on 50/50

Date: November 26, 2012
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As the Democratic Alliance (DA) will be holding the Federal Congress from the 23rd to the 25th November 2012; the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) will be watching closely regarding the placing of women in key decision making positions.

The CGEis mandated by Section 187 of the Country’s Constitution to promote respect for gender equality and the protection, development and attainment of gender equality in South Africa. The Commission is also empowered under law (Commission for Gender Equality Act of 1996) to monitor and evaluate the policies and practices of state organs, statutory bodies, public and private institutions (which include political parties) in order to promote gender equality.

While acknowledging that the DA Federal Congress is an internal party matter, the Commission nonetheless strongly urges the national leadership of the DA to take gender equality and balanced gender representation as one of the key guiding principles when selecting leaders to represent them in the party’s Federal Executive.

The Commission believes that this year’s Federal Congress presents one of the key opportunities for the party to demonstrate its political commitment towards promoting gender equality by increasing the number of women in its highest decision-making structures.

In particular, the Commission urges the DA to reflect a 50/50 representation in its highest decision making structures. This will serve as the strongest indicator of the DA’s commitment to balanced gender representation in South Africa. The Commission also believes that such a step will not only set a strong tone for the country, but also a clear challenge for other political parties to take gender equality more seriously.

While wishing the DA a successful and peaceful Federal Congress, the Commission nonetheless intends to monitor the process closely in line with its constitutional and legislative mandate to ensure that important institutions in our country, including the DA, fulfiltheir legal obligations to promote gender equality and balanced gender representation and observe the 50/50 representation in terms of SADC Protocol on Gender and Development.


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