Xingwana rolls up her sleeves

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Pretoria - Newly appointed Minister for Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities, Lulu Xingwana has vowed to fully transform her department in order to carry out its mandate.

The Minister said her immediate task is to mobilise the necessary expertise to capacitate the department.

"This should combine both recruitments into vacancies in the department and better coordination of our relationship with various departments and organisations.

"These organisations are doing outstanding work in the area of gender and women empowerment, disability and promotion of the rights of children," said Xingwana.

Responding to parliamentary questions, Xingwana said the department is currently reviewing the proposed organisational structure to ensure that it is geared towards achieving its mandate and core functions.

"The current staff complement of the department is clearly inadequate compared to the task of mainstreaming gender, disability and children's rights considerations into the entire programme of government," the minister told Parliament.

She said there were plans to improve oversight and mainstreaming of issues of gender, disability and children's rights.

There is a process of reviving the National Gender Machinery as a critical resource in enhancing the struggle for gender equality in the country.

"This is the platform that should allow various women's organisations and gender institutions to play their role in an integrated programme coordinated and led by the ministry," said Xingwana.

There was also a system in place to establish an effective framework or arrangement with offices of Status of Women, Rights of Children and Persons with Disabilities at provincial level - which she said was important in cascading the functions of the ministry.