SA Barometer 2013: Chapter 2 Governance

Date: November 22, 2013
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Key Points

  • With close to or over 40% women in parliament, cabinet and local government, and an SGDI score of 81%, South Africa ranks number one out of the 15 SADC countries with regard to gender and governance.
  • South Africa has one more election (in 2014 before the 2015 deadline). With one final push the country could become the first in SADC to reach the gender parity target with regard to women in political decision-making.
  • The major concern is that only the ruling African National Congress (ANC) has adopted a quota for women. In the 2011 local government elections women’s representation declined from 40% to 38% as a result of a decline in the ANC’s majority. This showed that gender equality is too important a principle to be left to the whims of political parties.
  • The Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (WEGE) Bill has strong provisions for ensuring 50% representation of women in all areas of decision-making, but this is yet to be passed.
  • The Commission on Gender Equality (CGE) has been leading a campaign for a legislated quota ahead of the 2014 elections.
  • South Africa’s main opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) party, led by three women, remains firmly opposed to quotas.

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