The Minister in The Presidency, Minister Tshabalala-Msimang, convened a high-level National Gender Machinery meeting, particularly within the context of the national anti-poverty strategy, on 25-26 October 2008 in Pretoria, South Africa.
The objective of this meeting was to further strengthen and encourage support and co-ordinated action for women’s empowerment and gender equality.
The Ministry is tasked with the responsibility to lead this key strategic objective. The meeting brought together key gender stakeholders: the National Gender Machinery, Provincial Gender Machinery, non-governmental organisations, the Commission on Gender Equality and various Ministers from key departments. Ministers who attended and participated included the Deputy Minister of Provincial and Local Government Ms Nomatyala Hangana, Minister of Land Affairs and Agriculture Ms Lulu Xingwana, Deputy Minister of Arts and Culture Ms Ntombazana Botha, and Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry Ms Elizabeth Thabethe.
The workshop considered reports and themes on the following:
- Poverty alleviation and its gendered impact
- Institution building for women empowerment and gender equality
- The care economy and women’s paid and unpaid work.
The meeting deliberated on these issues and made the following recommendations:
- The institutional arrangements of the National Gender Machinery must be strengthened in order to effectively implement our national strategy to mainstream gender. The OSW will therefore take the various perspectives on the institutional mechanisms and the resourcing required to take this process forward.
- The national anti-poverty strategy was discussed and a recommendation was made to identify persons from the NGM to engage with the policy unit of the Presidency so as to mainstream and engender the anti-poverty strategy with clear gender-responsive objectives and indicators.
- The NGM will support and promote the ratification and implementation of the SADC Protocol on Gender. The OSW will co-ordinate the process of ratification, and the NGM will also develop a plan of action to meet the targets set in the Protocol and to monitor implementation and observance of agreed indicators and timeframes.
- The NGM called on departments to fully support and implement the HOD 8 principles so as to ensure the mainstreaming of gender into departmental policies, procedures, planning and budgets, towards achieving women empowerment within the public service workplace.
- The NGM will continue to engage in the India-Brazil-South Africa (IBSA) processes through the IBSA Women’s Forum, to deepen South-South co-operation trilaterally, and to engender the terms and reference and programmes of all IBSA Working Groups.
- The NGM noted that the burden of the care economy and the non-recognition of women’s unpaid work are still inequitably distributed amongst girls and boys, men and women. The meeting resolved to support the use of research, particularly time-use surveys to measure and quantify women’s unvalued labour in domestic and care-giving roles, and to continue to work towards the harmonisation of care work with equal sharing and valuing of work between women and men.
Finally, the OSW was congratulated on the successful completion of South Africa’s CEDAW report, and will co-ordinate a national action plan to monitor the progress and implementation thereof.
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Issued by: Government Communications (GCIS)