n Journal for Contemporary History - Die politieke bemagtiging van vroue : 'n globale perspektief

Volume 34, Issue 2
  • ISSN : 0258-2422
  • E-ISSN: 2415-0509



Sheila Meintjies, a commissioner with the Commission on Gender Equality, says : "It is clear that women are actually very interested in politics. They want to participate." Beatrice Ngobo, also from the Commission, adds : "We have women in Parliament and we have good laws to protect women ... (but) ... when it comes to implementation, people at the frontline are mostly men. They won't give up power so easily." Against the background of the preceding statements the question still remains why women who make up half of the world's population and perform two thirds of the world's working hours, globally still account for only 16% of all lawmakers.

South Africa's definition of and goals towards achieving gender equality are guided by a vision of human rights which incorporates acceptance of equal and inalienable rights of all women and men. This ideal is a fundamental tenet under the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, 1996 (Act 108 of 1996). It emerged from a long period of struggle for a democratic society that respects and promotes the rights of all its citizens irrespective of race, gender, class, age, disability, etc. (Bill of Rights, Sections 9.1 to 9.4) (RSA: Gender Policy 2008:1)

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