Without the establishment of a Gender Equality Law that seeks to regulate among others, the appointment and/or employment of women into decision making positions, efforts to empower women will remain a dream.
Despite the call by the country’s authorities, vigorous campaigns by the Deputy Prime Minister’s (DPM) Office, women rights organizations and United Nations(UN) agencies among others, only a few women were nominated to participate in the ongoing Tinkhundla elections.
The Gender Equality Law could have guided Electoral Officers and voters to ensure that if ten(10) nominees are required, five(5) are women and five(5) are men.
Indeed, the Gender Equality Law should also be adopted by political parties trade unions, when electing their National Executive Commitee(NEC) members.
The law will also guide churches when electing Committees including traditional structures(iMiphakatsi).
The calls for democracy seeks to, among others, end patriarchy and democratize all institutions for equal participation of both men and women, to enhance social and economic development.
It’s a pity the women who were elected into Parliament never advocate for gender equality including the establishment of the Gender Equality Law, only a few including former Ludzeludze Member of Parliament(MP) Nonhlanhla Dlamini raised such issues.
Patriarchy is not only undermining political vibrancy in this country but, it continues to subject and brand women as outcast whose future and development of skills should be at the mercy of men.
Judge Qinisile Mabuza once issued a judgement that ‘freed’ women from the cultural oppression, women were previously required to seek permission from men when registering their properties.
Even though the Government appealed that judgement but, it was a very eye-opening judgement delivered by the Honorable Judge.
In this regard, the Gender Equality Law will guide all institutions in the country, women rights organizations should also be able to use the same law and challenge companies who violate gender equality principles.
As it stands, we are relying on company policies.
Gender equality should not only be a corporate governance issue but, a national regulated development project through a clear legal framework.
Judge Qinisile Mabuza.