Pretoria: The Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, Lulu Xingwana, on Tuesday joined a roundtable discussion on the Women Empowerment and Gender Equality (WEGE) Bill.
The roundtable discussions with the Progressive Women’s Movement of South Africa (PWMSA) and convened by Deputy Minister of Economic Development Professor Hlengiwe Mkhize in Johannesburg, were held on the eve of Parliament’s public hearings on the Bill.
Parliament will, from tomorrow until Thursday, hold hearings to allow members of the public and stakeholders to make submissions on the Bill.
According to the department, Xingwana addressed PWMSA on the significance of the Bill and why it is important for organisations to meaningfully contribute in the public participation process. She said this was an opportunity for them to shape the Bill before it is enacted.
“Once enacted, the Bill will become a powerful instrument to advance the objectives of women empowerment and gender equality. It will enforce compliance both within and outside the public service,” said the department.
The department last week held consultations with relevant and affected stakeholders in the women sector. The consultations aimed to inform and get them ready to make valuable and informed inputs during public participation period.
The WEGE Bill was published in the government gazette in August 2012 and negotiated with NEDLAC between January and May 2013. Cabinet approved the WEGE Bill for Parliament process in October 2013. The Bill is also accessible on www.dwcpd.gov.za.