Women parliamentarians called to unite in fighting gender discrimination

Tuesday, March 22, 2022

The South African Parliament delegation to the 144th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) has called on all women represented in parliaments across the world to wage a concerted fight against gender discrimination and gender-based violence.

Deputy Chairperson of the National Council of Provinces (NCOP), Sylvia Lucas, made the call on behalf of the delegation during the Forum for Women Parliamentarians held on Sunday.

The Forum is a platform where all women parliamentarians in all Parliaments across the world meet to provide a gender perspective on draft resolutions that are before the IPU Assembly.

“As we position ourselves as women parliamentarians to address the various forms of violence that women across the world suffer on a daily basis, it becomes particularly imperative that we ensure that we strengthen our oversight and accountability processes, so as to ensure the effective implementation of the legislative instruments that are in place,” Lucas said.

Meanwhile, during the meetings of the Standing Committee on Peace and International Security and the Standing Committee on Sustainable Developments held on Monday, the South African Parliamentary delegation succeeded in influencing the amendments of two important draft resolutions.

The delegation participated in the committee meetings, which debated and considered various draft resolutions proposed by member parliaments.

The South African delegation submitted 12 written amendments on the draft resolutions, with at least 11 of them endorsed by the committee.

The 12 written submissions on recognising promotion of peace and conflict prevention were combined with the Indonesian Parliament, where South Africa and Indonesia were of the view that organisations and more actors, including women, children and indigenous people are essential in fostering peace and conflict prevention.

At the Standing Committee on Peace and International Security, the parliamentarians also submitted 21 written submissions including among others, encouraging the use of Information and Communications Technology (ICT) to support, enhance and optimise the delivery of knowledge and information.

Dorries Dlakude, who represented the South African Parliament in the Standing Committee on Peace and International Security, said it is important that the country is continuing to contribute meaningfully to the agenda of the IPU and shaping its international work.

"We have so much to offer to these crucial world forums and we are therefore pleased that other sister parliaments continue to show appreciation to the interventions we are making, not only to strive for a more just, sustainable and equal world, but to bolster the role of this inter-parliamentary body,” Dlakude said.

As a procedure, draft resolutions were written on a specific theme by rapporteurs elected by committees and countries get the opportunity to submit written amendments in advance before the IPU Assembly.

Forum of Young Parliamentarians

The South African delegation also made a significant contribution in the meeting of the Forum of Young Parliamentarians of the IPU, where they discussed a number of topics including, among others, updates on youth participation in parliaments, contribution to the work of the 144th Assembly, and preparations for the 145th Assembly.

According to IPU survey, about 37% of chambers of parliament in the world have no Member of Parliaments (MPs) under the age of 30, with individuals aged between 20 and 39 make up 38.6% of the world population.

However, the survey showed that only 17.5% of MPs are under the age of 40, and it is understood that many countries have barriers that exclude young men and women from participation in politics and representation in legislatures.

South Africa’s young delegate, Fikile Masiko, noted that the IPU defined young people as persons under the age of 45, and believed that the quota system in South Africa can be achieved if it is introduced at the political party level to ensure increased youth representation.

The delegation will today participate in various committee meetings, including the Standing Committee on Peace and International Security and the Standing Committee on Sustainable Development.

The delegation will also participate in the Standing Committee on Democracy and Human Rights, which will debate the draft resolution on Parliamentary impetus to local and regional development of countries with high levels of international migration, and to stopping all forms including, state-sponsored, human trafficking and human rights abuses.

The draft resolutions adopted by the committees and forums will be considered and adopted by the plenary of the General Assembly before the conclusion of its business on Thursday. – SAnews.gov.za


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