Progress in implementing Beijing Declaration

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Pretoria - South Africa has made significant progress in implementing the Beijing Declaration on the status of women, says the women and children's department.

Minister of Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities Noluthando Mayende-Sibiya said the country was already meeting international targets on universal access to primary education and representation of women in political decision-making positions.

"South Africa has met the target for Millennium Goal 2 on Universal Access to Primary Education," Mayende-Sibiya said adding that the country had made significant progress in the number of girls enrolled in secondary school.

She however, stressed the need for government to put special measures to increase the number of young women enrolled in areas such as mathematics, science and technology.

The minister was on Wednesday presenting the country's statement at the United Nations Session on the Status of Women in New York.

The session is reviewing progress in the implementation of the Beijing Declaration since its adoption 15 years ago and its linkages with the Millennium Development Goals.

Mayende-Sibiya proudly shared with the delegates that South Africa is one of six countries in the world, where women held more than 40 percent of parliamentary seats.

According to the report issued by the United Nations Development Programme and United Nations Development Fund for Women titled Making MDGs Work Better for Women, South Africa is at number three with 45 percent following Sweden 47 percent and Rwanda 56 percent.

She also identified violence against women and girls as a major concern for government.

"Legislative framework is being further strengthened to address challenges of violence including the development of legislation to combat human trafficking," she said.