30 August 2012

South Africa: Gender Equality Bill Out for Public Comments

Photo: Alistar Harris/Abalimi
Women farmers working in an urban garden growing their own food.

Pretoria — The Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill, which was approved by Cabinet last week, has been published in the Government Gazette and is ready for public comments.

The Bill provides for the elimination of all practices that violate the rights of women to social, political, economic and cultural freedom and the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women and girls.

It strongly calls for equal participation of women in the economy and for equal representation of women in positions of decision-making (50/50) in both private and public sectors. It also provides for the monitoring of all legislation that address inequalities, discriminations against women, violence against women, access to services and economic empowerment.

The Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities said it had always been of the view that the empowerment of women and gender equality could not be left to market forces.

"We are confident that through this Bill, we will be responding to the calls made by many women of our country, who find themselves discriminated against on the basis of their gender,' the department said.

It further highlighted that South Africa has made commitments through the Constitution, various pieces of legislation and international conventions to respect, promote, protect and advance the rights of women, and everyone has a collective duty and obligation to honour these commitments.

Any person wishing to comment on the Bill is invited to submit written comments within 30 days of publication of this notice in the Gazette to the following addresses: The Director General: Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, Attention: Adv Carien Pienaar; Private Bag X931; Pretoria; 0001 or faxed to 086 765 9905; or emailed to Natalie@dwcpd.gov.za or hand delivered at 36 Hamilton Street, Arcadia, Pretoria (Office B103).

Enquiries in connection with the Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill can be directed to Adv Carien Pienaar at 012 359 0211 or Ms Nondumiso Maome at 012 359 0209 or nondumiso@dwcpd.gov.za.

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