Cape Town - The women empowerment and gender equality bill
is almost ready to go to cabinet, Women's Minister Lulu Xingwana said on
The legislation is expected to make gender equity in the
private and public sector mandatory.
Xingwana told media at parliament that work on the policy
document, which would pave the way for the bill to be introduced, was at an
The bill is likely to list penalties for those who do not
meet gender equity targets.
"South Africa has made commitments through the constitution, various pieces of legislation, and international conventions to
respect, promote, protect, and advance the rights of women.
"We have a duty and
obligation to honour these commitments," she said.
Last year, the minister lamented the fact that at the time
there were still 52 JSE-listed companies with not a single woman at
directorship or executive management level.
"I must agree that there hasn't been much progress in
the past year. This is why we have been determined to come up with the
bill," Xingwana said.
The minister is pushing for 50/50 gender representation in
political parties, companies, community organisations, traditional councils,
and all other organs of society.
Xingwana said it was hoped the bill would become law early
"We will therefore be able to come up with sanctions
and measures that will ensure companies, organisations, and political parties
comply," she said.