The Multi-Party Women’s Caucus (MPWC) in Parliament joins the global community in commemorating the International Women’s Day. The day is observed on March 8 globally, to bring attention to issues of women emancipation, gender equality as well as gender-based violence (GBV) and abuse, among others.
“On this day, we acknowledge that whilst important building blocks for achieving a more equitable and prospering society, including the empowerment and emancipation of women, have been laid, the country is still struggling to transform itself into this ideal.
“In the midst of worsening socio-economic conditions, women and children remain the most vulnerable, further exacerbated by the high levels of GBVF. Intensive interventions and greater commitment are required to ensure that widespread violence is effective managed and eliminated, and that the most vulnerable in society are protected,” said Ms Nkhensani Bilankulu, the Chairperson of the MPWC.
Next Week Ms Bilankulu, together with Ms M Hlengwa (Deputy Chairperson), will be part of a parliamentary delegation that will be attending the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (UNCSW) taking place at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, in the United States of America from 13 – 17 March.
The Commission will this year focus on “innovation and technological change and education in the digital age for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls”. The session will also review the agreed conclusions of the 62nd session, such as “challenges and opportunities in achieving gender equality and the empowerment of rural women and girls”.
The MPWC’s principal function is to lobby and influence public policy and decisions to ensure progress in achieving gender equality, and at the very least a more gender-sensitive approach to decision making and governance.
International engagements such as the UNCSW67 are important tools in improving members’ understanding and effectiveness, working towards establishing standards of parliamentary oversight that may lead to a more gendered approach to accountability in government planning, expenditure and service delivery.
In the committee’s last meeting, Ms Bilankulu lamented that women and children remain the most vulnerable, in the midst of worsening socio-economic conditions which exacerbated the already high levels of GBVF. She added that intensive interventions and commitment are required to ensure that wide spread violence is effectively managed and eliminated, and that the most vulnerable in society are protected.
Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Parliament.