Parties urged to increase number of women candidates for local elections
23 Mar 2011
Political parties should ensure equitable representation of women as candidates for Local Government Elections when they finalise their candidate lists for submission to the Independent Electoral Commission by Friday, 25 May.
Women consistently constitute the majority of registered voters in the voters’ roll and party candidate lists should reflect equitable representation of women at this sphere of government.
Statistics from 2009 general elections registration shows that 55 percent of registered voters were women including the recent voter registration that reflects women as the majority. Therefore, it is imperative for the political parties to continuously empower women including people with disabilities and recognise that they constitute the majority of South Africans as indicated above.
Minister for Women, Children and People with Disabilities, Ms Lulu Xingwana said these statistics welcome demonstration of active interest and participation of women in the elections which is a crucial component of our democracy in South Africa.
With women currently constituting 54 percent of the total 23, 6 million voters registered for the May 18 Local Government Elections; Minister Xingwana believes women have the power to use their votes wisely by voting for a party that has a track record for recognising women’s rights.
“Political parties that use women only to win elections and not consider them as candidates, do so at their own peril. Women should vote for political parties that acknowledge the crucial role that women play in our democracy and those that demonstrate commitment to women’s empowerment and gender equality,” said Minister Xingwana.
South Africa has made significant progress in increasing women political representation with women currently constituting 44 percent of members of Parliament, 43 percent in Cabinet and 40 percent of councillors at Local Government. Minister Xingwana believes that the coming local government elections provide a great opportunity for the country to advance towards 50/50 gender parity at this sphere of government.
“Advances made thus far on women representation in political decision making positions have largely been due to the ruling party, the ANC, applying gender equity measures using its own majority vote. Other political parties have an equal responsibility to contribute towards gender equality. The composition of the candidate lists they will be submitting to the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) will demonstrate their perceptions regarding the role of women in leadership and development in our country,” said Minister Xingwana.
Ke nako! Now is the time!!!
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Issued by: Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities
23 Mar 2011
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