Media Release For Immediate Release: 23 March 2017 To: Editors, Producers and Reporters Spur Incident and the Taxi Rape Cases bring Another Spotlight to issues of Power Relations and Gender Based Violence
The Commission for Gender (CGE) has noted with disgust the incident that took place at the Glen Spur restaurant in Johannesburg. The incident as seen in the video released by the Glen Spur Management clearly shows how patriarchal tendencies manifest itself in the public domain. Had it been another male involved in the incident, the male perpetrator of such atrocious behaviour would not have charged in the same vigour like he did in this video. This goes to show how some men still view women in our society 22 years after the advent of democracy.
The CGE strongly condemns such behaviour as it goes against all it stands for, building a society free of gender oppression and inequality. The incident is also another hallmark of unbecoming behaviour by parents in front of kids. The CGE is calling on the man in the video to make a public apology about the outburst that is so shameful and embarrassing to the menfolk. Equally so, we are calling on the woman on the video not to set a wrong precedent by opting out in reporting the matter to relevant authorities and institutions.
In the same vein the CGE has been alarmed by media reports of two taxis in grey and white colours that its occupants pounce on unsuspecting innocent female passengers and rape them. In the latest ordeal a mother was raped for 4 hours and her ten-year-old boy forced to watch such a gruesome act. Through our media monitoring system we also learned the same modus operandi was used in Soweto, Roodepoort and Braamfontein.
The CGE is calling upon the police to act with the same enthusiasm as they have done in other cases by bringing the perpetrators of these heinous crime to book. The levels of Gender Based Violence is unprecedented in this country as it is. The CGE believes that if this is not clampdown as speedily as possible it will give a wrong perception that gender based violence is not prioritised. The CGE calls upon the residents of Johannesburg to report or share with the police any information that could lead to the arrest of these criminals.ENDS, Issued by: Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) Date: 23 March 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: 16 March 2017 To: Editors, Producers and Reporters CGE Calls for Serious Intervention on Women in the Workforce
The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) has noted with interest that the 61st Session of the United Nations on the Commission of the Status of Women (UNCSW) amongst the themes will discuss “Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work”.
The Commission on Gender Equality has observed over the past 5-year period with concern during session on Gender Transformation in the Private sector and the Public sector, that despite existing measures within these organizations and institution’s, that Senior management need to review and Action to eradicate sexual division of labour- we observe that women, African and black continue to occupy the lower occupations and jobs. Women occupy the unskilled, semi-skilled employment. Skilled predominantly males. We note even where women can ascend to higher levels and ranks the percentage of women promoted to next levels gets significantly lower. Reasons remain frivolous and unscientific on why women are undervalued and not progressively supported, trained and capacitated to lead in supervisory, technical departments and higher management positions.
The Commission of Employment Equity (CEE) report 2015 has highlighted disparities in the salaries of men and women especially in executive levels. The Commission is of the view that this needs be addressed urgently. The Commission has observed that there are lots of organisations that discriminate against women in terms of salary remunerations.
The CGE maintains that for progressive protected employment and realization of women inclusion and participation of women in the labour force, reduce gender-pay gap, defend women’s right through sexual harassment policy, protected employment especially in mining, construction and clothing and textile industries. It is also critical that both private and public sector consider addressing issues of part-time irregular contracts and unlawful working hours and work schedules, and time-flex hours for working women. The Business Women Association of South Africa (BWASA) research has shown that women who are working in a conducive environment are more productive and the returns in margins are always high.
The CGE implores the retail industry to be considerate particularly during the festive seasons and weekends and late and early hours provide transportation for their employees whom majority are women. Women workers not only live far from the transport points and their work place they are vulnerable to rape and assault whilst going to work.
The CGE has also noted that the maternity benefit for working women is not being applied in line with the Department of Labour’s Basic Condition of Employment particularly in the private sector. Women workers must not experience marginalization and penalized in terms of promotion and empowerment. Maternity benefits must be enforced and implementation monitored by both the Trade Unions and the Employers in the workplace.
“The Commission calls for All role players, the Employers, the bargaining chamber and councils and the Trade Unions to prioritise women workers struggles demands in the workplaces - on gender pay gap, addressing sexual division of labour, maternity benefits for working women, sexual harassment and the employment contracts.” Said Lulama Nare, Acting Chairperson of the Commission for Gender Equality.The CGE encourages the public to utilize its toll-free number (0800 007 709) to report matters that relate to violations of gender rights ENDS, Issued by: Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) Date: 16 March 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 to promote respect for gender equality and the protection, development and attainment of gender equality.
Press release For Immediate Release: 23 February 2017 To: Editors, Producers and Reporters CGE welcomes the Sentencing of the Mastermind behind Thandazile Mpunzi’s killing The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) welcomes the sentencing of the mastermind behind the killing of Thandazile Mpunzi by Judge Themba Sishi at the Mtubatuba High Court in the Northern KwaZulu-Natal. The inhumane and merciless killing of Mpunzi for muti purpose due to her albinism will serve as a lesson regarding the myth and stereotypes that exist in our society about people with albinism. The Commission believes that the sentencing of Bhekufufa Gumede, a leader of the Zion Congregation Church and the chief mastermind of Mpunzi’s killing for life will send a strong message that killing of people with albinism will not be tolerated by our judicial system. The CGE also welcomes the sentencing of Mandla Mabuza (20 Year Imprisonment), Lindokuhle Khumalo (20 Year Imprisonment) and Siyabonga Gwala (18 Year Imprisonment) who were earlier sentenced for the same crime would serve as a deterrent to those who are involved in atrocious acts. “The CGE commends all in the justice system who worked tirelessly to ensure that justice is done for the late Thandazile Mpunzi and her family. The long term prison sentences handed down for kidnapping and killing will send a clear message that killing of people with albinism will not be tolerated in our society” said Ms Thoko Mpumlwana, Acting Chairperson of the Commission for Gender Equality People can use our Toll Free Number 0800 007 709 to report cases of gender based violence and other related crimes. ENDS, Issued by: Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) Date: 23 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: 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.