Room for improvement in judiciary gender equality

Monday, August 11, 2014

Pretoria – Minister in the Presidency Responsible for Women, Susan Shabangu, says momentum must not be lost in the push for gender equality in the judiciary.

Speaking at the Conference of the South African Chapter of the International Association of Women Judges in Pretoria, Minister Shabangu said while some progress has been made, there was room for improvement.

“In the magistracy, women constitute about 41% of the total [sector]. Two of the Constitutional Court judges, the highest court in the land, are women. Women are also represented in the Judicial Service Commission and the Magistrates Commission,” said the Minister.

She said women judges constitute about 30% of all the judges. South Africa also has a woman Judge President and a woman Deputy Judge President.

The social patterns of exclusion and disadvantage that women experienced in the past, Minister Shangu said, remain a part of the South African social and economic landscape.

Twenty years into democracy, Minister Shabangu said women continue to bear the disproportionate burden of poverty, unemployment and inequality -- a reality that cannot be ignored by the judiciary when making judgements.

She said true justice could only be achieved if there is equality for all. –