Invitation to follow-up meeting on maternity benefits
13 Apr 2012
Many thanks for participating in our recent dialogue on access to maternity benefits for all categories of working women. The Commission for Gender Equality wishes to invite you to attend the planned follow-up meeting to deliberate on research findings, proposed way forward and future action to bring about legislative reform on this issue.
The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) has partnered with the Legal Resources Centre (LRC), the South African Self-Employed Women’s Association (SASEWA), the South African Business Women’s Association (BWA), and Gina Barbieri and Associates to plan around responding to access to maternity benefits for working women.
A research paper has been developed by the LRC, which highlights international agreements and Constitutional imperatives, weighing these up against current South African legislation and practice. The reality is that South Africa is failing to give effect to Constitutional and international obligations to ensure access to maternity benefits, with harsh consequences for working women.
The CGE has convened a series of consultative dialogues in some of the provinces to assess the impact of this issue and obtain input on how best to resolve this. The CGE has also made submissions to Parliament as part of the current review of labour legislation, to anchor state obligations to ensure access to maternity benefits in our framing labour legislation. This issue has also been put forward for inclusion in the emerging Gender Equality Bill currently being drafted by the Ministry for Women, Children and People with Disabilities.
Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has become aware of possible gaps in current legislation and policy provisions, and is planning to take up this issue. The CGE and COSATU have resolved to join forces to campaign for remedial legislative interventions to address this issue. The CGE and COSATU therefore invite you to participate in a consultative dialogue on maternity benefits for working women, to inform and initiate a campaign in this regard.
Date: Monday, 16 April 2012
Time: 10h00 to 13h00
Venue: CGE Head Office, Women’s Jail, Constitution Hill, Braamfontein
Issued by: Commission for Gender Equality
13 Apr 2012
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