Commission for Gender Equality disappointed at the Mpumalanga ANCWL’s call
10 Oct 2012
The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) is disappointed at the position taken by the African National Congress Women’s League (ANCWL) Mpumalanga and articulated by the Provincial Secretary Clara Ndlovu as alleged in the Sowetan of the 10 October 2012. In the, statement the Provincial Secretary is quoted to have said, women are “not ready to govern, and that they should wait”. This by inference is a serious indictment to the noble course that the CGE is striving for in a realisation of a society wherein gender equality prevails.
It is our firm view that the ANCWL has in its rank and file capable women, who could have been chosen to represent its aspiration, if truly and honestly they were prepared to advance gender equality. South Africa and the African National Congress (ANC) has done very well to prove that women are capable of leadership. For example the Cabinet, Parliament and Provincial Legislatures have capable women with a track record in leadership.
The CGE has identified patriarchy as one of the stumbling blocks towards attainment of gender equality and it is unfortunate that ANCWL in Mpumalanga seems to have capitulated to the power of patriarchy by not pushing the gender equality agenda in its nomination process. The statement not only degrades the dignity of women, a constitutional value, it also promotes sexist views about women.
The Commission calls on the ANCWL national office to distance itself from such a statement as this, by implication, will sincerely set back the gains that have been made in terms of fighting for women to occupy senior positions both in the private and public sector. Institutions such as CGE that have been created to promote and advance the constitution have a duty to advise when the constitution is being relegated when critical decisions are being made.
It is worrying that such allegations are being made that women cannot govern, whilst institutions such as CGE continuously advance the course of the gender equality agenda. Such statements are retrogressive in nature and undermine the Constitutional values of the Republic of South Africa.
South Africa is a signatory to international, and regional charters and instruments like Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), Beijing Platform for Action (BPFA), SADC Protocol on Gender and development, Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), African Charter on the Rights of Women in Africa, etc., that are very categorical about adherence to gender equality principles.
The CGE also calls on gender sensitive men and women to ensure that the constitutional gains of 18 years are not eroded or reversed in the nomination process.
Issued by: Commission for Gender Equality
10 Oct 2012
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