Press release For Immediate Release: 16 February 2017 To: Journalists Allegations of discrimination against transgender woman at Ikhaya Le Themba shelter The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) has learnt with great dismay of the allegations made about legal advice which purports discrimination and/or exclusion of a transgender dweller of Ikhaya Le Themba shelter. This allegation, which has now been made public arose from a social media message which was inscribed in the following manner: “The Commission for Gender Equality’s legal office says that Trans women are not women and should be housed at a women’s shelter” … “Iranti is appalled that the Commission for Gender Equality’s legal officer advised a women’s shelter in JHB to evict a Trans women” (sic). This message was tweeted by Iranti-org which according to their website “is a queer human rights visual media organization based in Johannesburg, South Africa. Iranti-org works within a human rights framework as its foundational platform for raising issues on Gender, Identities and Sexuality”. The allegations have been circulated on social media whilst the CGE is in possession of a complaint from Iranti-org’s lawyers who have lodged such a complaint on 15 February 2017 (yesterday). In light of the timing of the receipt of complaint, it would be fair that the CGE is given adequate time to ascertain the facts and decide on remedies based on the outcome of the investigation. It should be noted that upon receiving the complaint yesterday, the CGE tried in vain to contact the person to whom the legal advice was supposedly given to (by CGE) in relation to the complaint. In essence, the allegations are under investigation and it is important to stress that the matters raised by Iranti-org through social media remain “allegations” until proven otherwise. The CGE is mandated by law to uphold the Constitution and as such, the institution is bound by the same Constitution to protect the rights of individuals including the rights of Transgender individuals. It is for this reason that the CGE has in the past and current times forged relations through Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with LGBTIQA communities in order to partly fulfil the its Constitutional mandate in as a far as the protection of LGBTIQA communities are concerned. It is therefore astonishing that the CGE has received a complaint yesterday (15 February 2017) and whilst an investigation is underway, with the intention of dealing with the matter through official processes, the same complainant (Iranti-org) chooses to engage the CGE through social media on the very same complaint lodged in less than 24 hours. At the heart of this matter is to ensure that the investigation process should occur with integrity and respect to the parties involved, especially when the matter is of a sensitive nature. The CGE is committed to protecting the rights of LGBTIQA communities as the law requires, and as such, the matter regarding IKhaya Le Themba shelter is no different in that it will receive same amount of attention as other cases. ENDS. Issued by: Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) Date: 16 February 2017 Contact Person: Javu Baloyi Tel: 083 579 3306 The Commission for Gender Equality is established in terms of Section 187 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa in order to promote respect for gender equality and the protection, development and attainment of gender equality.
Press release For Immediate Release: 15 February 2017 To: Editors, Producers and Reporters CGE HAILS HISTORIC AGREEMENT BETWEEN GOVERNMENT AND THE CONSTRUCTION COMPANIES OVER ECONOMIC TRANSFORMATION The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) hails the agreement signed between government departments, led by Department of Economic Development, with construction companies Murray and Roberts, Aveng, WBHO, Stefanutti Stocks, Raubex, Group 5 and Basil Read to promote transformation in the sector. The agreement heralded a new era in the construction industry in terms of transformation broadly and women representation and participation in particular. The scholarships for female graduates will ensure much needed skills development in the critical skills owned construction companies and the provision of construction sector. The CGE hopes that there will be strong enforcement of the agreement so that it doesn't end up as one of the many agreements that the private sector has not delivered on. We believe as the CGE these commitments will open doors to many of the women owned construction companies within this sector. The Commission through its Employment Equity Transformation Hearings has observed and noted with concern the slow pace of gender transformation in the private sector. This commitment is significant since it ensures the empowerment of women in the construction sector which to date remains male dominated. The CGE will in executing its mandate continue to monitor the promotion and attainment of Gender Equality in the private sector. Through its Employment Equity Transformation Hearings, Commission on Gender Equality will continue to monitor and implore the private sector to meaningful increase the role of women in ownership and in business operations. Issued by: Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) Date: 15 February 2017 Contact Person: Javu Baloyi Tel: 083 579 3306 The Commission for Gender Equality is established in terms of Section 187 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa in order to promote respect for gender equality and the protection, development and attainment of gender equality.
Press release For Immediate Release: 13 February 2017 To: Editors, Producers and Reporters MS THOKO MPUMLWANA TO SERVE AS THE ACTING CHAIRPERSON OF THE COMMISSION FOR GENDER EQUALITY Parliament has through the Office of the Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly, Honourable Lechesa Tsenoli affirmed the appointment of Ms Thoko Mpumlwana as the Acting Chairperson of the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE). In terms of Section 9(a) of the CGE Act 39 of 1996, the term of office for Former Chairperson Mfanozelwe Shozi has lapsed on the 31st January 2017. Therefore, Parliament has in the interim placed the CGE’s Deputy Chairperson Ms Mpumlwana as the Acting Chairperson. The President of the Republic of South Africa, Honourable Jacob G. Zuma will appoint a new Chairperson of the Commission following the Parliamentary process of filling CGE vacancies of Commissioners which is currently underway. Issued by: Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) Date: 13 February 2017 Contact Person: Javu Baloyi Tel: 083 579 3306 The Commission for Gender Equality is established in terms of Section 187 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa in order to promote respect for gender equality and the protection, development and attainment of gender equality.
Press release For Immediate Release: 10 February 2017 To: Editors, Producers and Reporters CGE RESPONDS TO KING MPENDULO SIGCAWU’s DEMEANING REMARKS ABOUT WOMEN’S LEADERSHIP The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) has noted with dismay the recent unfortunate utterances attributed to King Mpendulo Zwelonke Sigcawu about women’s abilities to lead the country on Tuesday this week. It was reported widely in the media that King Sigcawu, hosting a delegation of members of the ANC Women’s League at his royal palace at Nqadu, Eastern Cape, made statements that appeared to impugn the integrity and ability of women to serve the country as political leaders. The King is also alleged to have stated that “South Africa is not yet ready for a women President”, and that “women are too sensitive to lead”. King Sigcawu’s alleged utterances clearly constitute a violation of some of the basic human rights principles contained in our Constitution, including the right to gender equality, the right to dignity and the constitutional prohibition against discrimination on the basis of gender. Section 9 (3)(b) of the Constitution provides that “every adult citizen has right to stand for public office and, if elected, to hold office”. This right extends to any citizen of the Republic, irrespective of gender. In addition to our Constitution, the country has promulgated a range of legislations, and adopted numerous policy frameworks guaranteeing the right to gender equality. The country has also signed up to many international and regional protocols, conventions and treaties recognising the right to gender equality. One of these is the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). It commits the Republic of South Africa to putting in place measures to end all forms of discrimination against women. Among others, the Convention also obliges the country to incorporate the principle of equality between men and women in its domestic legal codes, to abolish all discriminatory laws and adopt appropriate ones prohibiting discrimination against women; to establish tribunals and other public institutions to ensure the effective protection of women against discrimination; and to ensure the elimination of all acts of discrimination against women by persons, organizations or enterprises. The Convention further calls for the realisation of equality between women and men through ensuring women's equal access to, and equal opportunities in, political and public life including the right to vote and to stand for election. State parties to the Convention, and by extension Leaders such as King Sigcawu, are therefore obligated to observe and respect these provisions by putting in place appropriate measures including legislation, to realise the rights of women to enjoy their human rights and fundamental freedoms. The Commission therefore finds it disappointing and unfortunate that a leader in King Sigcawu’s position has to be reminded of his duties and obligations to observe the fundamental freedoms afforded to South Africans as outlined not only in the country’s Constitution, but also in numerous domestic laws and policy frameworks, as well as in international treaties and conventions that our country’s leaders have ratified.The CGE is fully aware of some of the challenges that continue to women’s fight for gender justice in this country. Among these obstacles are the entrenched patriarchal values and practices that continue to underpin and sustain our political system, including our traditional leadership structures in communities across the country. The CGE has therefore been conducting a nation-wide programme of engagements with the political, religious and traditional leaders in the various provinces precisely to educate and conscientise them about our Constitution and its specific provisions on gender equality and human rights issues. The CGE wishes to state categorically its respect for the King as part of our constitutionally recognised system of traditional leadership, while at the same time re-committing itself to its current programme of dialogue with various leaders such as King Sigcawu and the others in order to prevent such unfortunate utterances as those recently reported in the media and attributed to the King. The CGE implores members of the public to the use our Toll Free Number 0800 007 709 to report any discriminatory and gender related cases. Issued by: Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) Date: 10 February 2017 Contact Person: Javu Baloyi Tel: 083 579 3306 The Commission for Gender Equality is established in terms of Section 187 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa in order to promote respect for gender equality and the protection, development and attainment of gender equality.
Media Release For immediate Release: 09 November 2016 To: Editors, Producers and Reporters CGE celebrates International Human Rights Day The year 2016 marks 20 years since the adoption of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa, similarly, it is also 20 years since the promulgation of Act 39 of 1996 that gave birth to the Commission for Gender Equality. Indeed, this year’s International Human Rights day is celebrated with lots of milestones having been achieved. As South Africans, we have so much to celebrate, moreso as a human rights institution that has been established to help strengthen and deepen democracy. 22 years since the advent of democracy has seen significant protocols, treaties, conventions that are geared into safeguarding the rights of individuals being signed and ratified. South Africa also started with the initiative of putting in place mechanisms to safe guard the rights of women and children, by establishing structures such as the Child Protection Unit (CPU) in 1986. The CPU was later expanded to become Family Violence, Child Protection and Sexual Offences Units (FCS) in 1995. The specialised Sexual Offences Court was first introduced in South Africa as a pilot project aimed at improving the adjudication of sexual offences in 1993 at Wynberg Regional Court in Cape Town. The court was considered as an intervention mechanism to prevent secondary victimisation that was suffered by the victims at the hands of the criminal justice system. The National Crime Prevention Strategy (NCPS) was another milestone that came out of the collaboration of government and the Civil Society to curb the scourge of crime, which was mostly exerted to the vulnerable groups due to their minority status both economically and socially. The NCPS led to the establishment of Victim Support and Victim Empowerment Programmes which were aimed at empowering victims and preventing revictimisation. The Strategy was adopted in 1996. The Commission also acted as friend of the court (amicus curiae) on the Bhe Case, where two laws (Black Administration Act and Instestate law of Succession Act) explained briefly hereunder should be declared unconstitutional and further that Instestate Succession Act must apply to Blacks living under customary law. The Commission in preparation for the country periodic reporting in 2010 facilitated the Mock trial where the two members of the CEDAW Committee were invited to assist the country on what to expect during the time of reporting at the Commission on Status of Women (CSW) session in New York. One of the CGE’s initiatives was making follow ups on country reservations on the African Protocol, engaging with the parliament and requesting withdrawal of reservations. One of the Commissions milestones is the convening of the Employment Equity Hearings, which were geared towards holding the Public and the Private Sector organisations accountable in terms of the implementation of the Employment Equity Act. Similarly, the convening of investigative hearings with Institutions of Higher Learning to ascertain the extent of progress made and the challenges faced in promoting gender transformation. The CGE’s Legal Department has introduced a robust approach to complaints handling and litigation. Moreover, all provincial offices are accredited with their respective Law Societies as Legal Clinics In the recent constitutional court case of Modjadji Florah Mayelane v Mphephu Maria Ngwenyama and Another, which centered on the issue of validity of a man’s marriages if his first wife is not aware that these have taken place, or has not accepted these, the CGE was amicus curiae and assisted the court in assessing the case from a gender perspective. The CGE joined as amicus curiae in the landmark case of Bhe and Others v Magistrate, Khayelitsha, and Others (Commission for Gender Equality as Amicus Curiae); Shibi v Sithole and Others; South African Human Rights Commission and Another v President of the Republic of South Africa and Another 2005 (1) SA 580 (CC) wherein the Constitutional Court confirmed the orders of the High Courts declaring the rule of primogeniture in customary law of succession as inconsistent with the Constitution and, therefore, invalid The CGE also participated in another heralded constitutional case, Shilubana and Others v Nwamitwa (National Movement of Rural Women and Commission for Gender Equality as Amicus Curiae) 2007 (5) SA 620 (CC), traditional authorities are allowed to develop customary law in accordance with norms and values of the Constitution. Through its complaints handling mechanism the CGE’s Legal Officers have also assisted the South African Police Services (SAPS) in rescuing young girls from forced marriages such as in the case which occurred in Mpumalanga. Through the research department, in the past 20 years, the commission has conducted countless research projects to generate knowledge and to monitor the implementation of different frameworks that protect and promote gender transformation and compliance in the country. Different issues such as Land Rights, Widowhood, Victims Charter, monitoring of 365 Days National Action Plan have been researched. The Commission also introduced a standard Gender Barometer Web-based monitoring tool that has been used to monitor compliance of different departments and municipalities on their implementation of gender regulatory frameworks. The department has also devised the strategy of developing the Policy Briefs out of the published research projects, which are presented to the Policy Makers and Accounting Officers within the departments in the form of Policy Dialogues. This is a good initiative as it enables the Commission to present their findings to the Policy Makers for positive reaction. The Commission through the Department of Public Education and Information (PEI), employ different advocacy strategies to reach the communities at their grassroots levels. The rational is to sensitise members of the communities about the regulatory frameworks that are in place to protect them and the strategies to be followed to access such frameworks. The PEI Department carries out its functions through conducting dialogues; conducting information sharing sessions; conducting seminars, conferences; conducting workshops; conducting community radio interviews; campaigns; road-shows; capacity building and exhibitions. All these are done in order to educate, capacitate and raise awareness about gender equality and human rights issues. There are a number of interventions that the PEI department is exploring in addressing the strategic objectives, namely :Gender based Violence schools education programme during youth month, Women’s empowerment programme during Women’s month; 16 days of Activism programme ,Human Rights and Gender Equality Programme during Human’s Rights Month, Cultural and Religious intervention programmes ,Joint coordinated programme on Lesbians gays, bisexual, transgendered and Intersex persons, Joint coordinated programme on GBV in Institutions of Higher Learning and Partnership with South African Local Government Association (SALGA) on gender equality The Commission has been working with men since its inception in order to achieve gender transformation and gender justice. “The CGE came to a realization that in order to challenge patriarchy and its toxic consequences it in needed constructive male engagement, encourage men to be positive role models and care givers and work with various men formation”, Said Mr. Mfanozelwe Shozi, the chairperson of the Commission for Gender Equality. We urge members of the public who have knowledge of and information on acts of gender based violence, human rights violation on the basis of gender and abuse to call our Toll Free Number 0800 007 709 to report such cases. ENDS, Issued by: Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) Date: 09 December 2016 Contact Person: Javu Baloyi Tel: 083 579 3306 The Commission for Gender Equality is established in terms of Section 187 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa in order to promote respect for gender equality and the protection, development and attainment of gender equality.
Press release For Immediate Release: 02 December 2016 To: Editors, Producers and Reporters CGE GAUTENG OFFICE HOSTS OUTREACH AND LEGAL ADVISORY CLINIC On the 3rd December 2016 the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) in Gauteng will host outreach and legal advisory clinic in Alexandra at 10h00. The Commission for Gender Equality is an independent state institution established in terms of Chapter 9 of the Constitution Act No: 108 of 1996 of the Republic of South Africa. The powers and functions of the CGE are outlined in the Commission on Gender Equality Act, No 39 of 1996 (CGE Act). Section 11(b) of the CGE Act requires the CGE to develop, manage or conduct public information and education programmes to foster public understanding of matters linked to the promotion of gender equality, as well as the role and activities of the CGE. Through the CGE’s mandate, the Department of Public Education and Information is the information hub of the CGE. This department ensures that the CGE remains relevant and accessible to the public at large. The CGE continues to fulfil its mandate of information dissemination and advocacy in relation to human rights and gender equality. The event on Saturday will reflect activities undertaken by the education officer, legal officer and stakeholders. The focus is on; to raise awareness and educate people about services available for victims of Gender Based Violence and Intimate Partner Violence, to bring closer to the public services for the purpose of generating complaints, to establish good working relationships with stakeholders. The Gauteng Provincial Office strives to be proactive and take a lead in fostering positive relationships with stakeholders. ENDS, Issued by: Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) Date: 02 December 2016 Contact Person: Zanele Ncwane Tel: 082 529 6937 The Commission for Gender Equality is established in terms of Section 187 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa in order to promote respect for gender equality and the protection, development and attainment of gender equality.
Press release For Immediate Release: 18 November 2016 To: Editors, Producers and Reporters CGE URGES MEN TO TALK AND STOP MALE SUICIDE On 19 November 2016 the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) will be joining hands with South African men as well as with men representing more than 60 Countries to celebrate International Men’s Day under the theme “Stop Male Suicide”. International Men’s Day focuses on raising awareness on men’s and boy’s health, improving gender relations, promoting gender equality, and highlighting positive role models. This year’s theme seeks to highlight the dangers that men are faced with in terms of suicide. Research has shown that the suicide rate is worse for men than women. Globally, male life expectancy at birth in 2015 was 69 years in comparison to 74 years for females. the Commission for Gender Equality calls for men to “speak out” about the challenges they face in life. The voices of men should be heard, their positive role and contributions in our society must be recognized, men are humans who must be affirmed and accorded an opportunity to learn from various experiences. Men must be encouraged to deal with mental challenges that tend to result in suicide. The CGE is also cognizant of the fact that patriarchal upbringing has killed the softer side in men to engage on crucial issues as consequence die in silence. CGE is encouraging men to talk about suicide as help is always available. In addition, any marginalisation of men could also have a ripple effect on the boy child who could assume suicide is the only solution when faced with challenges or difficulties. Therefore, society needs to embrace men, recognize their value, understand their needs and make an effort to both support them in realizing that they are an important component in the home, in society, in the world and have a meaningful role to play. Therefore, suicide is not an option. In a society where the stereotype exists that “men don’t cry “has resulted in circumstances where men have been subjected to ridicule when they talk about domestic abuse and sexual violence in their homes. Due to some of these constraints many men have either continued or worse perished in silence. The CGE is of the view that platforms should be created for men and their diversity of viewpoints to engage on various topical issues in order to help address suicidal tendencies. We also call upon the police to be sensitive to men when they report issues of abuse instead of laughing or mocking them. The Commission for Gender Equality throughout the 16 Days of Activism will also embark in legal clinics and outreach programmes that are geared into capacitating and educating men about issues relating to eliminating violence against women and Children. We assist men establish their own Men's Forum wherein issues such as suicide could be discussed. ENDS, Issued by: Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) Date: 18 November 2016 Contact Person: Javu Baloyi Tel: 083 579 3306 The Commission for Gender Equality is established in terms of Section 187 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa in order to promote respect for gender equality and the protection, development and attainment of gender equality.
To: Editors, Producers and Reporters Invitation to the Public Investigative Hearings: Transformation in the Private Sector
To: Editors, Producers and Reporters Invitation to the Public Investigative Hearings: Transformation in the Private Sector Date: 24 – 28 October 2016 Time: 10h00 – 16h30 Venue: 120 De Korte Street, Parktonian Protea Hotel, Braamfontein, 2017 RSVP: Javu Baloyi. Javu@cge.org.za or 083 579 3306 On the 24- 28 October 2016, the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE), will host “Public Investigative Hearings: Transformation in the Private Sector”. In accordance with Section 11(1)(a)(c) (d) and (e) of the Commission for Gender Equality Act of 39 0f 1996 as Amended, the CGE is obliged to investigate both the public and private sector to ascertain the extent of transformation in their respective workplace. In accordance with its powers as outlined in the CGE Act, the CGE seeks accountability from the Chief Executive Officers (CEOs) from the private sector for the slow pace of transformation in the workplace, and inadequate promotion of persons with disabilities, gender equality and women empowerment. The purpose of the hearings in part is contained in the CGE Act that compels the Commission as per its monitoring role to hold public hearings with all organs of the state, the private sector and civil society in order to raise awareness regarding these obligations and demand accountability, identify challenges and develop recommendations to ensure the realisation of gender equality in the workplace. Some of the objectives of the Hearings To ascertain the vulnerabilities and risks experienced by women in their respective workplaces.
- To ascertain the general level of non-compliance by employers with obligations flowing out of specific provisions in labour legislation aimed at promoting equality or affirming the rights of women.
- Ascertain reasons why employers fail to comply with obligations aimed at promoting gender equality in the workplace.
- Identify obstacles faced by women in the workplace which existing legislation fails to address.
- Ascertain the needs of women in the workplace which require affirmation
- Make relevant recommendations to the relevant institution to enforce compliance employment equity.
- Mercedes Benz South Africa
- Pick & Pay
- Rhodes Food Group
- Big 5 Construction
- Tiger Brands
- Vermeulen Build It
- Oos Vrystaat Kaap Bedryf Bpk
- Hall and Sons
- Mafikeng Toyota
- RCL Foods
- EH Hassim Builders World
- Jonnson Workwear
- Moorddrift Diary.
Media Release For Immediate Release: 08 October 2016 To: Editors, Producers and Reporters CGE’s response to the rape of Hluhluwe Man by three Women The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) is outraged about a case involving the rape of a Hluhluwe man by three women. Through its mandate, the CGE is obliged to monitor cases of this kind in a bid to ensure that adequate interventions are made by the CGE and other institutions, where possible. The Chairperson of the Commission for Gender Equality, Mr. Mfanozelwe Shozi had this to say about the rape of the Hluhluwe man: “I am very sad that we experience yet another rape (regardless of who is involved). It should be noted that this happens at the time when the CGE, the State and NGO’s have taken measures to ensure that there is public awareness through Public Education and Outreach programmes that are geared towards raising awareness on matters of gender based violence in our society. This case and many other similar GBV cases should compel stakeholders with specific interest in this matter to work together in order to root out the scourge of gender-based violence in our society. As a society, we should have zero tolerance for such acts regardless of who the victim is”. According to Sexual Offences Act and Related Matters Amendment Act 32 of 2007, any person who unlawfully and intentionally commits an act of sexual penetration with a complainant without the consent is guilty of offence of rape. Rape is rape regardless of who is the perpetrator of such a heinous crime. The Commission for Gender Equality is encouraging men who are raped to report such acts and speak out against them and society should also be alert to the fact that boys and men do also get sexually violated. The CGE wants to dissuade the circulation of the video that shows the Hluhluwe man being raped by these three women. It is against the law to distribute pornographic content through social media or any other form without following legal prescripts. Such act is punishable by law. The CGE has also learnt that this rape case well be heard at the Hluhluwe Magistrate Court on 25 October 2016. The CGE will closely monitor the case as part of its internal court monitoring process to ensure justice is done and seen to be done. ENDS, Issued by: Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) Date: 08 October 2016 Contact Person: Javu Baloyi Tel: 083 579 3306 The Commission for Gender Equality is established in terms of Section 187 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa in order to promote respect for gender equality and the protection, development and attainment of gender equality. ENDS, Issued by: Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) Date: 18 March 2016 Contact Person: Javu Baloyi Tel: 083 579 3306 The Commission for Gender Equality is established in terms of Section 187 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa in order to promote respect for gender equality and the protection, development and attainment of gender equality.