South Africa has made significant progress in attaining equality for women in social, economic and political spheres, says Public Service and Administration Deputy Minister, Dr Chana Pilane-Majake.
“As women of South Africa, we have come a long way as we remember the names of women who fought viciously towards women’s emancipation,” Pilane-Majake said.
Speaking at the launch of the Public Service Women in Leadership Network held in Sandton, in Johannesburg, Pilane-Majake said women’s representation in Parliament, government and in the private sector is one measure that illustrates such progress.
“Today we are aiming to fill 50% of senior management positions with women and have progressed to 43%,” Pilane-Majake said.
Women’s Month in South Africa provides an opportunity to pay tribute to the generations of women whose struggles laid the foundations for the progress made in empowering women and achieving gender equality to date.
“The public service is obliged to provide a safe and healthy working environment especially for women,” the Deputy Minister said, adding that the department developed the Policy and Procedure on the Management of Sexual Harassment in the Public Service in 2013 with first implementation by April 2014.
“The purpose of this policy is to promote a workplace that is free of sexual harassment, sexual favours, intimidation and victimisation, where employees especially women’s dignity, privacy and the right to equality in the workplace is respected.
“This policy also provides a systematic and consistent approach to managing sexual harassment and steps to be taken when sexual harassment occurs within the course and scope of the public service,” Pilane-Majake said.
As a policy compliance requirement, all government departments annually report to DPSA on the number of sexual harassment cases reported and how they were resolved.
“It is such information that assists government to monitor sexual harassment in public service and continue to plan and improve on policy imperatives towards total eradication of this scourge,” the Deputy Minister said.
She said the public service 8-Principle Action Plan for Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality is a measuring tool that monitors the extent to which equality and non-discrimination under the law, access to justice for women, poverty reduction; right to work, career pathing as well as women’s entrepreneurship and development of women’s enterprises are covered within the public service.
Pilane-Majake expressed concern on unemployment that negatively impacts on the lives of women as primary care givers.
“The demand for 50/50% gender representation principle in the public and private sector cannot be over emphasised.”
The launch was attended by mostly women in leadership positions in government departments and in the private sector
The aim of the launch was to encourage women to network and assist each other mostly in matters affecting women.
(With Inputs from South African Government Press Release)