From the summit

Date: April 24, 2012
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Do you think your country will achieve the 50% target of women in local government by 2015? We caught up with seven summit participants and this is what they had to say (Note that this is the view of the participants and not those of the institutions that they are representing):

Mpho Matima, South Africa

If everyone shows commitment, South Africa is able meet most of the targets set forth in the protocol at a local government level. The success achieved in most councils in the country gives hope that 50% women representation in leadership and decision making position by 2015 is possible. Achieving this at local and national levels is among the measuring sticks of freedom in the country. This is how far our nation can achieve and what it set out to do post 1994.

Elago Fiina, Namibia

I am confident that Namibia will achieve 50% women representation at a local government level by 2015. I say this considering our current status of 42% women representation at a local level. However, I am not positive if we will be able to achieve the same at a national level considering a slide down in the 2009 general elections. Nevertheless, there are positive signs that we are doing more as a nation to empower women.

Masoga Howard, South Africa

Yes! South Africa will achieve 50% women representation in leadership and decision making positions at a local level. For instance, Lepile-Mkupi Local Municipality (where I am coming from) has already reached the 50/50 target and (council) is being headed by a female Mayor. As a council, we have measures in place that we use to lobby with authorities both at local and national levels to adopt the 50/50 policy.

Raymond Havwala, Zambia

It is very unlikely that Zambia will make it by 2015 because the government is reluctant to put in place deliberate measures to empower women both at local and national levels. However, there is an opportunity considering that we (Zambia) are reviewing a constitution. We can use this opportunity to lobby with the authorities that we put in place deliberate measures such as quotas. In addition, there is need to sensitise more people about women empowerment particularly men who are currently dominating leadership and decision making positions.

Ntshadi Raditanka, Botswana

Botswana will achieve the 50% target by 2015 as long as women work hard to achieve it. For example I am not a specially elected councillor; I worked hard and campaigned for the electorate to vote for me. The environment in Botswana is conducive for the attainment of gender equality. Women hold key positions in civil society.

Grace Mancayi, South Africa

Off course South Africa will achieve the 50% target by 2015 because we are almost there anyway. I am 100% sure. If we can work together as women to take the gender work forward, this target is attainable.

Gideon Gwebu, Swaziland

I do not think Swaziland can achieve this. 50% sounds over ambitious seeing that women and men in Swaziland are still hesitant to elect women into leadership positions. 30% sounds more realistic to me. However, a lot still needs to be done to raise public awareness on women’s potential in governance issues.



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