The adoption of the Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill (WEGE) by the National Assembly is an important milestone towards the realisaton of women empowerment and gender equality.
This is the view of Minister for Women, Children and People with Disabilities, Lulu Xingwana who welcomed the decision as being very key in sending a message to the women of South Africa that their cry for empowerment and equality has not fallen on deaf ears.
The National Assembly yesterday gave thumbs up to the WEGE Bill which was instituted to give effect to section 9 of the Constitution insofar as the empowerment of women and gender equality is concerned by establishing a legislative framework for the empowerment of women.
“The Women of South Africa have said to us that they cannot wait any longer to share in the fruits of our democracy,” stated Minister Xingwana further adding that “Gender equality is more than a goal in itself. It is a precondition for meeting the challenge of reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development and building good governance.”
Xingwana pointed out that while significant strides have been made to empower women and promote gender equality, women still bear a disproportionate burden of the triple challenges of poverty, inequality and unemployment.
The WEGE Bill calls for the progressive realisation of at least 50% representation of women in decision making structures, improved and equal access to education and training, skills development and measures to promote and protect women’s reproductive health, elimination of discrimination and harmful practices including gender based violence.
The Bill has now been passed to the National Council of Provinces for further consultations and public hearings.
SOURCE: South African Official News