Pretoria: North West Premier Thandi Modise says much still needs to be done to ensure that women dominate senior positions in the public service.
Speaking at the Public Service Women Management Meeting held at Mahikeng Hotel School on Tuesday, Modise noted the worrying picture of female representation in the public service.
She encouraged women who are already senior managers in the public service to play their role in increasing the number of senior managers at their workplace.
“We really need women to gather in this nature regularly so that the intention of promoting gender equality in the public service is driven by women themselves,” she said.
“Regularly when you meet like this, it is your responsibility to mentor, nurture and come up with programmes that will assist other women who want to lead in the public service,” she said.
The meeting was attended by senior managers across all the provincial departments.
Modise told the women that government was trying its best to provide support mechanisms to empower women to be in senior positions.
She added that women must be senior managers in all fields, including in the financial field so that they continue to overcome many barriers such as lack of access to finance and technology.
Modise told the women senior managers that gender equality should not be viewed simply as a compliance issue to pacify the Employment Equity Commission.
“Gender equality is a fundamental principle of democracy and human rights. Women must not sit in senior positions in government and not influence the decisions taken at that level,” she added.
Modise warned those women senior managers in the public service who used their position to block other competent women to progress.
“As a women manager at your work, you should be able to empower other women rather than blocking them to progress. You will not earn your respect if you do not embrace other women by empowering them,” she said.
In 2007, the department launched the 8-Principle Plan of Action for Promoting Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality within the Public Service Workplace.