Speech by X.C. Makasi on Women’s Day Debate

Emancipation, Empowerment, Equality and Poverty Eradication.

28 August 2007

Chairperson
Honorable Members of Parliament
Distinguished guests
Ladies and Gentlemen present in the House

Sihlalo mandikubulele ndivule ngelithi ukuba usakhumbula -

The term "the glass ceiling" was coined to describe the barrier that allows women to see the top of the corporate ladder, but prevents them from reaching it.

Kulenyanga sikuyo kaAugust, yinyanga eyasekwa ngu Rulumente njenge nyanga yoomama. Ngako oko ke sijonge ekubeni siqinise indima yoomama kumanqanaba amashishini nakwa wolawulo kwaye sibabeke  kwizinga eliphakamileyo lokuzenzela. Masingakhohlwa ukuba thina apha kwi Palamente yethu e Mzantsi Africa kwithutyana nje elincinci sizamile ukuvala umsantsa wokunga lingani phakathi koo mama noo tata. Kunamhlanje oomama banabo banegalelo kwaye bayinxalenye yeziqgibo nolawulo, yiyo kelonto sithi sibulele aba mama basimela phambi ko Strydom.

Thina apha emzantsi Afrika sikwi nqanaba le shumi kwipalamente ezi ezilikhulu elimanashumi anesithathu kwilizwe lonke jikelele. Thina singoomama bomzantsi sithi xasizithelekisa nomama behlabathi sizibone siyibetha, in Canada, Australia kunye ne Melika ngenxa yenani eliphakamileyo loomama abakwizikundla zolawulo.

Ukusukela ngonyaka ka 1994 zininzi izinto esithe saphumelela kuzo interms of Women Emancipation kodwa ke kusekuninzi okusafuneka a kwenziwe. Mininzi imithetho esele ipasisiwe, kwezenqgesho nokulingana ngokwasemsebenzini (Employment Equity Act), umthetho wokulingana ( Equity Act), ezentlawulo sondlo ( Maintenance Act) neminye endithe andayibala.

Maninzi amasebe athe okhiwa ngu Rulumente esenzela ukuncedisana nokuphuhlisa oomama, Commission on Gender Equality, South African Human Rights Commission, Office on the Status of Women, kwaye ke nalapha ePalamente sinayo in Joint Monitoring Committee on the Improvement of Quality of Life and Status of Women jalonjalo. Siyasebenzisana ke namanye amasebe anga phandle afana nee UN Declaration kunye ne Convention on the Elimination of Discrimination Against Women.

Chairperson  

You will agree with me when I attest that there is concrete evidence on the work government has done to uplift women and place them in policy and decision making level.  A wide range of government programmes have been created to pay special attention to the needs of women, especially the marginalised women.

A number of international and regional treaties and conventions require SADC states to achieve gender equality and representivity at all levels of government and decision-making bodies. As the ANC we are beyond 30% and are on the way in Meeting the Millennium Goals Development in terms of 50 – 50 representation at Decision making level.President Thabo Mbeki himself has bit the bullet with a cabinet that now has 42 percent women. As the ANC Women’s League we applaud our President for having fulfilled his promise on the emancipation of Women in South Africa. We therefore challenge the DA and other smaller parties to follow the good example that has been set by the ANC.

South Africa has made significant gains in the representation of women at the national level, where a number of women dramatically increased. This places South Africa on the top list in terms of women's representation world-wide. However, at the wardlevel women are still less represented. We need to put focus at local level and ensure that women Ward Councillors are elected.

Sihlalo ndinga yilibalanga i Judiciary, inani loo mama lisephantsi kakhulu kuyo, kumkhosi wase manzini futhi nakwezo krwebo, kusafuneka sinyuse inani loomama.

The local government has been noted for the number of important ways as it affects the lives of ordinary citizens. For example, it ensures people in local communities a voice through elected representatives, and encourages citizen participation in the definition of issues and policy making. Local politics also impacts directly on the lives of women, as it is responsible for the delivery of goods and services. Municipal health services, water provision, electrification, child-care facilities, sanitation, and transport affect all people at the local level, but it is often women and children that feel the daily burden when these services are not provided. The reason for this is that firstly, women are the majority of recipients at the local level, particularly in rural areas, and secondly, that gender roles have made women the primary caretakers for the family, children, and the elderly.

Chairperson

These women we are talking about are faced with challenges such as required skills, stereotyping that assumes that women are not capable of handling management positions, past discrimination that has limited work experience, the perception that women are less mobile and are therefore not suited to take advantage of work opportunities in other provinces. There is a gap between Government and the private sector in terms of salaries between men and women. Small changes in terms of work procedure has to be introduced to enable women to work flexible hours not to be force to choose between their career and the family. Women have different needs and their needs have to be accommodated in order the process of integration can be successful.

There is a need to adapt management profile and afford more female employees the opportunity to occupy positions of influence. "Enabling women to 'have a voice', both politically and economically

Elokuvalelisa Sihlalo

U - Margaret Thatcher wakhe wathi “in politics, if you want anything said, ask a man, if you want anything done, ask a woman”.

Malibongwe igama loo mama!

Enkosi