20 May 2012

South Africa: Gender Commission - Presidency Delaying Appointments

press release

The Presidency is delaying the appointment of nine commissioners to the Commission of Gender Equality (CGE). The commissioners were nominated by Parliament in February this year, but are yet to be appointed by the President.

I will write to the Presidency to ascertain exactly what the hold-up is and determine whether steps will be taken to make appointments soon.

The CGE is a Chapter 9 institution, tasked with promoting respect for gender equality and the protection, development and attainment of gender equality. Its functions include the power to monitor, investigate, research, educate, lobby, advise and report on issues concerning gender equality.

The Commission is currently operating without a Chairperson and has only two appointed commissioners, making it virtually impossible for the institution to deliver on its mandate.

An Ad Hoc Committee on the CGE made recommendations to Parliament In February on nine people it believes should be appointed as new commissioners. Almost four months down the line, no appointments have been made.

The lack of commissioners directly impacts the work of the CGE. Without a full complement of commissioners, the institution lacks capacity to take decisions at a policy level and produce credible reports.

We know that women in South Africa face the triple threat of economic marginalisation, sexual exploitation and gender-based discrimination.

Appropriate, integrated policies to address gender issues must be supported by the type of research, advocacy and monitoring that the CGE is supposed to provide.

The Presidency must appoint commissioners soon or continue to undermine the efficacy of an institution created to protect one of the most vulnerable groups in our society.

Helen Lamoela, DA Spokesperson on Women, Youth, Children and People with Disabilities

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