SA on course to achieving 50% women representation

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Pretoria – Minister in the Presidency Responsible for Women, Susan Shabangu, says South Africa is on course to achieve 50% women representation before 2030.

“As government, we have made progress in advancing women and gender parity in the workplace in a relatively short period of time,” she said on Tuesday.

Speaking at the 61st Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women in New York, Minister Shabangu said government has amended the Employment Equity Act to achieve equity in the workplace.

“We have also agreed on a minimum wage for domestic workers and we also have preferential procurement policies in favour of women.

“Consistent with our gender mainstreaming objectives, we remain committed to changing the very fabric of gender disparity in our economy for example, in business, in construction and technical industries,” she said.

Minister Shabangu told delegates that the South African government has increased black women directorship of the Johannesburg Stock Exchange Listed Companies.

In 2006, there were 114 black women directors in JSE-listed companies, a number that increased to 385 by 2016.

Since January this year, it is now mandatory for all listed entities to have a policy of promoting gender diversity at board level, as well as disclosure of how they are performing against this policy.

According to Minister Shabangu, in the Judiciary, statistics currently show that of the 242 permanent judges, 86 are women – representing about 35% of the total.

Early this month, President Zuma announced his nomination of a woman to become South Africa’s first female President of the Supreme Court of Appeal.

Minister Shabangu said Women’s empowerment through education particularly in STEM Fields, will ensure women’s full participation in the changing world of work.

“The majority of students enrolled at our universities are women and continue to perform better in the STEM fields,” the Minister said.

Turning to HIV and Aids, Minister Shabangu said South Africa has developed an HIV and Aids prevention campaign for girls and women led by the Deputy President.

“This 3-year campaign focuses on HIV infections, unwanted pregnancies, school drop-outs, sexual and gender-based violence for girls and women aged 15-24 who have a high HIV and Aids infection rate,” Minister Shabangu said. –

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