CGE presents CEDAW Mock Trial report before the Select Committee on Women, Children and People with Disabilities
7 Aug 2012
On 8 August 2012, the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) will be presenting its CEDAW Mock Trial report before the Select Committee on Women, Youth and People with Disabilities.
After, South Africa failed to submit CEDAW (Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women) report in 2001 and 2004 as expected, subsequently submitting in 2009 that covered the period 1998 to 2008, the CGE took upon itself to produce a report that focused on the shortcomings of the South African Government's report of 2008. This report took into cognisance CEDAW’s concluding remarks and recommendations made on the previous report submitted by South Africa.
The purpose of the CGE report was to evaluate whether the laws adopted by the state translate into an effective promotion of the rights of women, and whether there are sufficient programmes in place to advance the status of women.
It was against this backdrop that a CEDAW mock session was hosted with the then newly appointed Honourable Minister for Women, Children and People with Disabilities, Ms Lulu Xingwana in order to assist government delegation to prepare for the CEDAW review that was scheduled for January 2011 in Geneva.
In effect the session was to gauge the level of preparedness by the South African delegation, and offer insight on the nature and rigor of the questions that would be posed in order for frank and precise responses from South African delegation.
The mock session contributed greatly in ensuring that the South African delegation was well equipped before departing for Geneva in 2011. After presentation, the CEDAW Committee noted concern around the state party’s obligation to systematically and continuously implement the CEDAW provisions and recommendations.
The committee also stressed the importance of accountability for implementation by inviting the state party to encourage its Parliament in line with its procedures and appropriate steps in line with implementation be taken.
A call was made by the Committee to the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities to expedite the Gender Equality Bill upon which formal equality for women will be assured.
An emphasis put on the strengthening of National Gender Machinery in order to ensure the existence of a strong institutional mechanism for the promotion of gender equality that was placed solely on CGE and the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities.
The committee also noted an urgent need to have legislation and interventions that will address harmful traditional practices such as Ukuthwala, polygamy and the killing of witches in keeping with articles and provisions of CEDAW.
The CGE will be sharing this report with the Select committee tomorrow, henceforth will continue to monitor all the concluding remarks as noted within the legal framework of its mandate. South Africa is expected to report again this next year, and the CGE is going to monitor if the reporting mechanism are complaint and also addresses what the CEDAW Committee raised. If needs be the CGE will produce its own shadow report, which will be presented to Parliament.
Date: 7 August 2012
Mr. Mfanozelwe Shozi
Cell: 082 399 8192
Cell: 083 579 3306
Issued by: Commission for Gender Equality
7 Aug 2012
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