Gender Equality and Women Empowerment
Gender equality and women’s empowerment are cross-cutting themes within the CO programmes. The promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women is central to the mandate of UNDP and intrinsic to its development approach. Accordingly, the Gender Unit provides technical support to the Department of Women, other related Departments and Civil Society, to ensure that gender equality and women empowerment are mainstreamed into policies, legislation and programmes at all levels. The unit also ensures that gender is mainstreamed into the 4 core areas of the CO programmes: Inclusive Growth, Climate Change and Greening South Africa’s Economy, Service Delivery and Democratic Governance and South Africa’s Regional and Global Role, and also in Operations. Substantively, the gender unit, in collaboration with the Inclusive growth Portfolio, is providing technical support to all relevant departments on increasing access and diversity in funding to women owned SMMEs. The unit is also spearheading a project on Women in the Judiciary, whose aim is to build the capacity of the South African Chapter of the International of Association of Women judges (SA-IAWJ) to promote gender equality, human rights and justice within the judiciary and in the wider society. Finally, the gender unit, together with the CO Gender Focal Team (GTF), is leading the process of the Gender Seal Certification for 2017/2018.
Twenty years into democracy, South Africa has made great strides in reforming laws and policies that prohibited women’s full participation in all social, economic and political spheres. These range from the development of a constitution which articulates equality for all persons to the establishment of Chapter Nine institutions which serve to guard against historical injustices and promote human rights for all in the country. The Constitution enshrines the right to equality, equal protection and benefit before the law, and to non-discrimination. South Africa is also signatory to a number of international conventions, declarations, regional charters and protocols which aim to address inequalities and ultimately achieve gender equality, and which the state is obliged to implement. Notwithstanding the plethora of legislation women have not advanced as rapidly in terms of socio economic empowerment and gender equality and the National Development Plan (NDP, 2030), identifies women as the most affected by inequality, poverty and unemployment. In 2014, a new Department for Women (DOW) was established with a mandate for advancing the socio- of women and the promotion of gender equality through oversight, advocacy, monitoring and evaluation. In 2015, the DOW finalized its strategic plan, and needs support from all players for its implementation. The promotion of gender equality and the empowerment of women is central to the mandate of UNDP and intrinsic to its development approach. It is therefore imperative for UNDP to support the government’s agenda on gender equality and women’s empowerment