Promote gender equality and empower women
Where we are?
The factors that have facilitated South Africa’s improved performance towards gender equality include the African National Congress’s quota in respect of political representation of women, as well as a widespread recognition since 1994 that South Africa has an obligation to address gender inequalities alongside those relating to race. This recognition is firmly grounded in the Constitution and reflected in a wide range of laws, policies, programmes and practices.
The constitutional mandate on gender equality is clear, and the legislative process is providing the building blocks for a gender equitable society. Eliminating violence is essential for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women. The existing target, to eliminate the gender disparity in education, captures only one, albeit a key, dimension of gender inequality. Eliminating violence against women is a prerequisite for gender equality and empowerment of women. The follow-up by mothers and fathers on school and extracurricular activities of their children reinforces the family ties, favours socialisation at home and reduces the risk of violence and/or aggression in the streets.
It is clear that South Africa has reached most gender equality targets, if not exceeded them. South Africa’s performance has also improved for several of the indicators over the period. A more serious challenge relates to other socio-economic concerns where women continue to have higher rate of unemployment than men, their share of non-agricultural wage remains below 50%, and a greater prevalence of violence against women.