Pretoria: The National Assembly has approved the Women Empowerment and Gender Equality (WEGE) Bill, a move described as a major milestone for gender equality in the public and private sectors.
Speaking during the National Assembly debate on the bill on Tuesday, Minister for Women, Children and People with Disabilities, Lulu Xingwana, said the bill pushed for the gradual realisation of at least 50% representation of women in decision making structures.
“The bill affirms the commitments to the promotion of gender equality and prohibition of discrimination on the basis of gender, as provided for in the Bill of Rights in the Constitution and the international instruments that South Africa has signed and ratified, such as CEDAW (Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women), the MDGs, Beijing Platform for Action, the AU Protocol, the SADC Gender Protocol,” Minister Xingwana told members of Parliament.
The bill will now go through the National Council of Provinces, where further consultations are expected to take place at grassroots level across all provinces.
Women representation in governance structures is 44% in Parliament, 42% in Cabinet and 38.4% in local government.
SOURCE: South African Official News