Revised Gender Bill to go to Cabinet

23 May 2013

Following public consultation on the Draft Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill, a revised Bill is expected to be presented to the Cabinet for its consideration ahead of its tabling in Parliament, says Minister for Women, Children and People with Disabilities Lulu Xingwana.

Delivering her department’s budget vote speech in Parliament in Cape Town on Wednesday, Xingwana said the draft law, which the Cabinet approved for public consultation in August, aimed to enforce compliance in matters of gender mainstreaming and equality in both the public and private sector.

“We believe that this Bill, once enacted, will become a powerful instrument to advance the objectives of gender equality and women empowerment,” Xingwana said.

Gender-responsive budgeting

Xingwana also announced that the Motsepe Foundation had completed a baseline study in partnership with her department, the Departments of Agriculture, Energy, Health, and Trade and Industry and Health, and United Nations agencies.

This followed an undertaking made last year by her department, together with the Motsepe Foundation, to pursue the Women’s Budget Initiative to ensure that the country’s budgeting processes and allocations were gender-responsive.

“Gender-responsive budgeting is an essential tool for development, poverty alleviation and redistribution. This output will reinvigorate multi-stakeholder gender-responsive budget analysis in South Africa.”

Xingwana said her department had developed an integrated mainstreaming framework, as well as sector-specific monitoring and evaluation strategies to monitor progress made in realising women’s rights and empowerment.

“We have also developed a quarterly reporting tool so that we can determine trends and progress or regression,” she said.

Women in rural areas

Xingwana also a call for more land to be allocated to women in South Africa.

“During this year, the year of the women’s movement centenary, we will advocate that more land be allocated to women. We will ensure that the campaign includes young women and women with disabilities.”

With regard to the Traditional Courts Bill, Xingwana said her department would continue to work with rural women and other stakeholders to ensure that the provisions of the Bill were consistent with the Constitution and the protection women’s rights.