BUDGET HEARINGS REPORT

SUBMISSION TO THE PARLIAMENTARY AD HOC COMMITTEE ON JUSTICE AND CONSTITUTIONAL DEVELOPMENT – 09 June 2004

1. MANDATE OF THE COMMISSION ON GENDER EQUALITY

The Commission on Gender Equality (CGE) was created in terms of Section 187 of the Constitution of South African, to strengthen and deepen constitutional democracy in South Africa. The Commission on Gender Equality Act 36 of 1996 [the CGE Act] charges the CGE with a mandate to undertake the following:

  1. Investigate gender-related complaints from members of the public or on its own initiative;
  2. Monitor and evaluate policies and practices of state organs, state agencies, public bodies and the private sector in order to promote gender equality and the rights of women. The CGE may make recommendations regarding the protection and promotion of gender equality;
  3. Develop, conduct and manage education and information programmes to foster public understanding of matters pertaining to gender equality; and
  4. Evaluate any of the following: Acts of Parliament, systems of personal and/or family law, custom and/or customary practices, systems of indigenous law or any other law.

This submission apart from the mandate of the CGE and the departments that carry out its work is comprised of the following:

  1. The work of the CGE during the 2003 -2004 financial year (see programme of action 2003 – 2006 presented to this forum last year)
  2. Challenges
  3. Recommendations

 

 

2. THE CGE PLAN OF ACTION

The Plan of Action is a strategic tool that the CGE makes use of to guide its work towards the fulfilment of its mandate. The construction of the 2003 -2006 plan support the mandate of the Commission on Gender Equality Act No. 36 of 1996 as shown below:

Strategic Objective 1

Watchdog for gender equality: Monitor and, develop effective gender monitoring mechanisms for public and private institutions to ensure the appropriate implementation of gender sensitive strategies, policies and programmes. (Section 11-1a).

Strategic Objective 2

Public Education and Information: Develop, conduct or manage information and education programmes to foster public understanding about the promotion of gender equality and the role and activities of the Commission (Section 11 – 1b).

Strategic Objective 3

Monitoring laws passed in Parliament: Evaluate and monitor any Act of Parliament or any other law or treaty affecting or likely to affect gender equality or the status of women and make recommendations to Parliament or such other legislature or treaty with regard hereto. (

Section 11-1c/d

).

Strategic Objective 4

Investigating Inequality Investigate any gender-related issues of its own accord or on receipt of a complaint and endeavour to resolve any dispute or rectify any act or omission. (Section 11-1e/j).

Strategic Objective 5

Working with others: Create strategic linkages nationally, regionally and internationally to ensure mutual support, effective collaboration and recognition of the need to promote and protect gender equality (Section 11-1f/g).

Strategic Objective 6

Create appropriate structures in order to promote sustainability and effective functioning of the Commission on Gender Equality.

The POA is comprehensive and can only be carried out successfully if there are sufficient resources. The CGE’s allocation from government provides 10% of the total programme funding. The CGE needs more funds in order to implement this programme of action.

The work of the CGE during the year under review was informed by the following themes:

The Commission is aware that there is an association between gender and HIV and AIDS, poverty and violence against women. Thus take the issue of HIV and AIDS was taken very seriously and as a result, the CGE did not create a special category for HIV and AIDS instead HIV and AIDS was weaved through all the above themes.

3. PUBLIC EDUCATION AND INFORMATION

During the year under review, the department organized and conducting the series of educational workshops and public awareness campaigns. Information about the Commission, its work as well as gender equality was disseminated through different available media. The matrixes on education and information activities are outlined underneath.

3.1 Limpopo

Workshops

No. of Participants

Venue

 

House of Traditional Leaders

 

23 Traditional Leaders

 

Sekhukhuni

Gender, Culture and Tradition

48

Greater Tubatsi

Gender, Culture and Tradition.

40

Lepelle-Nkumbi

Gender Based Violence

53

Bohlabela

Gender Based Violence

53

Vhembe

Gender Based Violence

53

Mopani

Gender Based Violence

53

Capricorn

Sexual Harassment

60

Capricorn

Gender and Governance

60

Vhembe

16 Days of Activism

60

Capricorn

Gender and HIV/AIDS

45

Westernburg

Women Economic Empowerment

20

Giyani

Women Economic Empowerment

20

Bushbuckridge

Women Economic Empowerment

20

Phalaborwa

Gender Dialogues

No. of Participants

Venue

Gender and HIV/AIDS

70

Waterberg

16 Days of Activism

140

Polokwane

Conferences

No. of Participants

Venue

Gender and Governance

300

Bela-bela,

Gender Based Violence

190

Musina

Campaign

No. of Participants

Venue

Women’s Day

1500

Mopani

 

    1. Gauteng

Workshops

No. of Participants

Venue

Domestic Violence

120

Orange Farm

Domestic Violence and Maintenance

170

Johannesburg

Maintenance and Customary Marriages

137

Randfontein

Gender Equality

130

Germiston

Domestic Violence

150

Randfontein

Gender Equality

50

CCMA – Johannesburg

Domestic Violence and Social Grants

65

Benoni

Gender and Poverty

172

Randfontein

Gender and Poverty

165

Innerdale – Lenasia South

Gender Equality and Gender Based Violence

135

Lenasia

Gender Equality

61

Daveyton

Gender Equality

50

Poortjie

Gender Equality

50

Poortjie

Gender Equality

50

Randfontein

Gender Equality

51

Johannesburg Central

Conference

No. of Participants

Venue

Gender Based Violence

260

Johannesburg

 

3.3 Free State

Workshops

No. of Participants

Venue

Domestic Violence and Maintenance

165

Vrede

Domestic Violence and Maintenance

64

Botshabelo

Domestic Violence and Maintenance

98

Bothaville

Domestic Violence and Maintenance

84

Kroonstad

Domestic Violence and Maintenance

97

Ficksburg

Gender Based Violence

57

Bloemfontein

Maintenance

28

Bloemfontein

Recognition of Customary Marriages

150

QwaQwa

Campaigns

No. of Participants

Venue

World Rural Women’s Day

437

Trompsburg

16 Days of Activism

162

Botshabelo

16 Days of Activism

129

QwaQwa

16 Days of Activism

120

Bloemfontein

Seminars

No. of Participants

Venue

Recognition of Customary Marriages Act

446

Thabo Mofutsanyana District

 

    1. Mpumalanga

Workshops

No. of Participants

Venue

People Living on Farms

111

Ngodini

Gender and Poverty

165

Standaton

Gender Based Violence

100

Kabokweni

Gender and HIV AIDS

100

Bookhouthoek

Gender, Tradition, Culture and Religion

107

Kabokweni

Gender, Tradition, Culture and Religion

90

Tonga

Men for Gender Equality

100

Phola

Women Economic Empowerment

60

Nelspruit

Conferences

No. of Participants

Venue

Gender Based Violence

250

Ehlanzeni

 

3.5 Kwa Zulu – Natal

Workshops

No. of Participants

Venue

Good Governance

103

Ixopo

Tradition and Culture

111

Empangeni

Gender Based Violence

100

Madundube

Gender Equality

30

Dept of Defence

Gender Equality

60

Durban (Diakonia Council of churches)

Gender Commission

150

Sisonke Municipality

16 Days of Activism

180

Vryheid

16 Days of Activism

 

Hluhluwe

16 Days of Activism

 

Highflat

16 Days of Activism

 

Kwangcolosi

16 Days of Activism

Kwa Mashu

16 Days of Activism

 

Mandini

16 Days of Activism

 

Nquthu

Women and Human Rights

100

Ukhahlamba

Customary Marriages

70

Durban

Gender, Culture, Tradition and Religion

120

Vryheid

Gender, Culture, Tradition and Religion

50

Durban

Conferences

No. of Participants

Venue

Gender Based Violence

200

Durban

Campaigns

No. of Participants

Venue

16 Days of Activism

500

Durban

International Rural Women’s Day

3000

Umgungundlovu

 

3.6 Eastern Cape

Workshops

No. of Participants

Venue

Procurement Practices

60

Umtata

Spatial Development Initiatives

80

Uitenhage

Sexual Offences

25

Mdanzane

Vukuzakhe Community Based Public Works Project

53

Willovalle

Gender Dialogue

No. of Participants

Venue

Sexual Offenses.

25

Mdantsane Indoor Sport Centre

Conferences

No. of Participants

Venue

Gender Based Violence

140

Grahamstown

Campaign

No. of Participants

Venue

Operation Thetha

194

Grahamstown

 

 

3.7 North West

Workshops

No. of Participants

Venue

Gender, Culture, Tradition and Religion

150

Bojanala

Gender, Culture, Tradition and Religion

150

Bophirima

Gender, Culture, Tradition and Religion

50

Bafokeng District

Gender, Culture, Tradition and Religion

50

Bojanala District

Gender and Governance

30

Mafikeng

Conferences

No. of Participants

Venue

Gender Based Violence

100

Taung

Campaigns

No. of Participants

Venue

Women Month

1000

Zeerust,Rustenburg, Mabopane, Vryberg, Klerksdorp,

Women’s Day

600

Mafikeng

Summit

No. of Participants

Venue

Gender and Governance

200

Rustenburg

    1. Western Cape

Workshops

No. of Participants

Venue

Gender, Tradition, Culture and Religion

42

Kleinmont

Gender Based Violence

25

Cape Town

Gender & Governance

21

Cape Town

Gender & Poverty

41

Cape Town

Gender Based Violence

38

Cape Town

Gender, Culture, Tradition and Religion

67

Cape Town

Conferences

No. of Participants

Venue

Gender Based Violence

212

Worcester

Women, Science and Technology

269

Cape Town

Campaigns

No. of Participants

Venue

Women’s Day

10,000

from all regions of the Western Cape

Cape Town

Celebrating a Decade of Democracy

2000

Cape Town

16 Days of Activism

2000

Cape Town

50/50 Campaign

10,000

Took place in all regions of Western Cape

 

3.9 Northern Cape

Workshops

No. of Participants

Venue

Gender and Governance

150

Siyanda District Municipality

Gender and Poverty

145

Francis Baard District Municipality

Gender, Tradition, Culture and Religion

160

Kgalagadi District Municipality

Gender Based Violence

170

Namaqua District Municipality

Gender Dialogues

No. of Participants

Venue

Gender and Poverty

150

Francis Baard District Municipality

Gender and Governance

150

Siyanda District Municipality

Gender, Tradition, Culture and Religion

150

Namaqua District Municipality

Gender Based Violence

150

Kgalagadi District Municipality

Conferences

No. of Participants

Venue

Conference on Gender Based Violence

200

Upington

 

3.10 Media

The Commission used the following media to reach out the public: SAFM-about  the Recognition of Customary marriages Act, Metro FM about the 'Strip the Back, SAFM about 'Women's achievements in the last ten years, Thobela FM- about women who were stripped naked at the Noord Street Taxi Rank for wearing short and revealing skirts or dresses and Thobela FM about Women Rights are Human Rights. SABC Regional radio stations were also used to communicate the messages of the campaign on 16 Days of Activism on No Violence Against Women and Children.

Radio Station

Topic

Audience Reached

Thobela F.M

Gender-Based Violence

Gender-Based Public Hearings

Violence Against Women by taxi drivers

Information about the CGE

1.9 million listeners per presentation (SABC listenership statistics)

Radio Bushbuckridge

Gender Based Public Hearings and CGE as an Institution

190 000

Radio Turf

(Community radio)

Gender Based Violence Public Hearings and CGE as an Institution

69 000

Radio Moletsi

(Community radio)

Gender Based Violence Public Hearings and CGE as an Institution

31 000

Radio UNIVEN

(Community radio)

Gender Based Violence Public Hearings and CGE as an Institution

131 000

Radio 702

Provincial Conference on Gender Based Violence

 

SABC Radios

(All Regional Radio Stations)

Provincial Conference on Gender Based Violence

 

SABC Radios

(All Regional Radio Stations)

Poverty Hearings

 

 

3.11 National Conference on Gender Based Conference

The CGE hosted consultative conferences in all the nine provinces of this country. The objective of these conferences was to determine the nature and extent of gender-based violence. The outcome of this nation-wide process revealed an alarming sense of a deeply ingrained prevalence of sexual abuse and sexual control over women and children.

The provincial conferences culminated in a national conference, which was held in Kimberly in the Northern Cape. Northern Cape, and other partners. The theme of the Conference was" The Nation in Dialogue on the Challenges of Gender Based Violence: Seeking Solutions". Over 400 delegates from all the nine provinces took part in the conference.

3.11.1 Declaration for the national conference on gender-based violence

The delegates at this Conference called on the following to take place:-

  1. Individuals, NGO’s, CBO’s, all levels of government and the National Gender Machinery to bring awareness to the institutional protective services,(including Justice, Safety and Security, Health, Social Development, the ICD and South African society) of the extent of issues of gender-based violence, including the prevalence rates of abuse.
  2. Training and monitoring to be conducted to ensure full understanding of all legislation pertaining to gender violence generally, but particularly the Domestic Violence Act, the Maintenance Act and the Recognition of Customary Marriages Act.
  3. The Department of Justice should take the lead to partner NGOs in reaching a wider audience
  4. Special efforts be made to train prosecutors and magistrates in terms of the social context and nature of gender-based violence.
  5. Special attention to be paid to eliminating discrimination in all work involving the civil service, especially sexism and racism in the courts
  6. Attention to be paid to issues of language and literacy which have excluded women
  7. All programmes to include sensitisation to the double violations experienced by women with disabilities
  8. That gender equality programmes include emphasis on lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans gendered people’s human rights.
  9. Service providers to more effectively and efficiently address the gaps in implementation of services, including preventative programs such as working with juveniles, socialisation for equality of our children and zero tolerance of gender-based violence in society today
  10. Special attention be paid to health care workers as the first line in providing services to persons affected by gender-based violence.
  11. Local governments to have specific programmes and structures on GBV to sensitise local government officials in respect of GBV and to be included within expanded service provision in the implementation of protective legislation and policies currently available
  12. Attention be paid to the mainstreaming of gender in Integrated Development Programmes
  13. Recognition be afforded to the impact of gender –based violence on employment issues
  14. Special attention to be given to programmes to protect young people through involving them in these programmes
  15. Universities, schools, crèches, religious and social institutions to become involved in the campaign on the16 days of No Violence against Women.
  16. The use of all forms of media to highlight and access gender-based violence information in order to educate the public.
  17. All service providers ensure that information and training reaches more marginalised communities
  18. Government and civil bodies to collaborate and deepen existing partnerships assisting women and children in overcoming GBV, drawing on resources being made available by the Department of Social Development and the Department of Justice.
  19. Formations that encourage the socialisation of men towards equality, particularly those within the men’s movement, be promoted and affirmed for their important work
  20. Women’s wide range of formations be included in activities towards ending gender-based violence, including women’s burial societies and prayer groups

We invoke our rights as women and men of equal value and citizenship to end gender-based violence, not on the basis of reason or economy, but because this is the moral duty of every South African, acknowledging that the costs involved in changing the deeply held beliefs and assumptions that manifest in gender-based violence are costs that cannot be avoided if we are to change gender relationships towards non-domination and an appreciation of difference.

3.11.2 Recommended follow up action on the national consultative

conference on gender based violence

Safety and Security – Response to GBV

  1. Scope of victim support needs to encompass all categories of GBV and that social cluster needs to be accountable for the work in this area.
  2. CGE to monitor and report back to Parliament on social cluster work on GBV on an annual basis.
  3. Regeneration of the National Crime Prevention Strategy (NCPS) – a coordinated committee of stakeholders to ensure compliance to be monitored by the CGE in collaboration with NGOs.
  4. Review of legislation with respect to criminalisation of sex work, and CGE to monitor progress of the law reform process.
  5. SAPS and social services to collaborate in protecting children from sexual exploitation, and to arrest and procure the conviction of perpetrators.
  6. Public awareness on the vulnerability of unprotected refugees, especially women.
  7. Increased public participation in combating crime and apprehension of suspect – CPFs and CSFs, and in promoting the establishment of street committees.
  8. Training of police and other service providers by accredited training bodies, including NGOs.
  9. Improvement management of SAPS
  10. Provision of counselling and debriefing for SAPS to combat vicarious trauma.

Unmasking genital mutilation – seeking mechanisms for eradication

  1. Promote extensive research into the extent and incidence of female genital mutilation in South Africa.
  2. Public Hearings to be held on this issue throughout the country, accompanied by a public awareness campaign.
  3. Engage legislatures on the research.
  4. CGE, OSW and Legislatures and civil society, including churches, professionals and researchers to take responsibility for implementation.

Implementation of DVA and Maintenance Act – Gaps and Limitations

  1. Further awareness campaigns and training of service providers, SAPS on the Acts.
  2. Establishment of Victim Empowerment Centres.
  3. Parallel training of skills to SAPS – more women police officers on site.
  4. Networking of NGOs and community to assist SAPS.
  5. Develop appropriate curriculum to train police officers – especially by NGOs. DVA Manual to be used by all.
  6. National budget for places of safety for victims.
  7. Special facilities, such as mobile courts, should be provided in the rural areas, especially in the Northern Cape for the provision of protection orders.
  8. DVA investigators should be increased.
  9. DVA Centres should be established.
  10. Review Section 8 of the Act, to ensure that assault charge is possible within 48 hours.
  11. Establishment of Maintenance Forums and Maintenance Centres to provide user-friendly environment.
  12. Campaign to promote the payment of Maintenance – it is a children’s issue.
  13. More courts need to be provided to ensure maintenance.
  14. Student volunteers to be recruited to participate in this process.

Culture and Tradition & GBV

  1. Research on forced marriages, on customary marriage laws, review policies to analyse their causative link to gender-based violence.
  2. Research needs to be done on inheritance practices.
  3. Campaigns on the impact of patriarchy upon the rights of women need to reach women in rural areas, and challenge cultural justifications for gender-based violence.
  4. Media need to be regulated and monitored around hate speech.
  5. Campaigns against the commodification of women in the perpetuation of lobola.
  6. CGE and OSW to set up a committee to deal with link between cultural practices and GBV.
  7. Investigate the role that the concept of a male ‘head of household’ has upon the legitimation of control over women and the perpetuation of GBV.

The Role of Religious Institutions in dealing with GBV

  1. Encourage partnership between religious institutions and civil society to combat socialisation that suggests that women are secondary subjects, weak and treated as chattels of men or as minors.
  2. CGE and religious institutions such as SACC to conduct workshops on this matter
  3. MRM to promote gender equality in the programmes it initiates.

Impact of GBV on Democracy and Elections

  1. Education, lobbying and advocacy to focus on conflict between gender equality and culture and tradition.
  2. Women need to be empowered to assert their independent rights despite tradition and culture.

HIV and AIDS as a form of GBV

  1. Women need to be empowered to negotiate safe and satisfying sex.
  2. Information about gender rights and gender power to extend into communities via the CGE, DTI, NGOs and others.
  3. PMTCT programmes should be extended to men – testing should include both partners.
  4. Extend support groups about HIV-AIDS beyond those who are infected.
  5. PEP information should be much more broadly extended.
  6. Extend VCT sites to work-places and to rural areas.
  7. Femidoms to be more widely available and wider education on reproductive health

 

 

The Youth’s Responsibility in developing a culture free of GBV

  1. Build institutional capacity of the gender machinery in provinces and at national level.
  2. Local government to institute GFPs
  3. Develop social programmes for those who are in the streets in a developmental programme tied to the IDPs.
  4. Integrate gender policies and programmes in the SETAs
  5. Build CPFs to include issues of gender beyond GBV.
  6. Programmes need to be established in Provinces and Municipalities, both in hospitals and other centres, to provide training on gender, and GBV.
  7. Organise around the local institutions
  8. Involve ex-prisoners in campaigns against VAW.
  9. Municipalites to establish rehabilitation centres for ex-prisoners.
  10. Dept of Education to promote the work of ex-prisoners.

Men as Agents for Change in Dealing with GBV

  1. Resources exist in our institutions and organisations, and especially men’s organisations, who are entry point into resocialisation
  2. Gender Dialogues about gender relations – GETNET, Masimanyane, Youth formations, Trade Unions, Government Depts, traditional leaders and healers, Dept of Health especially – to include men’s organisations.
  3. Life skill programmes directed at boys especially – about gender equality.
  4. Communication about importance of counselling – debriefing with men is critical. Support groups essential – for men and families.
  5. Co-ordinated programmes for and by men to be evaluated.
  6. Buddy-buddy systems to be established – men and women working together.
  7. Ensure that women and men sex workers are drawn into the process of education and information.
  8. Men to support the CGE in its work.

GBV as a Violation of Human Rights – Human rights are indivisible

  1. Socialisation of girls and boys needs to challenge the gender stereotypes, such that both genders are empowered.
  2. All discriminatory laws vs GLBT to be withdrawn.
  3. Access to justice for GLBT.
  4. Section 6 Committee on Equality to be established
  5. Training on Gender Equality to all in CJS.
  6. Information re legal rights to public, targeted – responsibility of DOJ, local government, dept of education.
  7. Ensure access to justice to courts – environments need to be more conducive to ordinary people and that they should be adequately represented.
  8. Investigate mechanisms to ensure legal representation of people.
  9. Investigate rights of undocumented refugees .
  10. Rights of sex workers as citizens.
  11. Decrminialisation of sex workers.
  12. Chapter Nines to monitor gender legislatation.
  13. Better networking between NGOs in the GBV sector
  14. Co-ordination of activities between Chapter Nines – especially SAHRC and CGE.
  15. More transparency in activities of Chapter Nines.

3.12 Publications

The department developed and the printing of the following publicity material:

The above publicity materials were dispatched to the provinces for use during the women’s month.

 

3.13 Information Requests

Method used for seeking Information

Average No. Requests per Month

Nature of Request

How they were handled

cgeinfo@cge.org.za

1750

  • About Events.
  • About CGE reports.
  • Organizations wanting to network with CGE.
  • CGE mandate and powers.
  • Legal related.

Information provided and others referred to Legal and Research Departments.

Telephone Enquiries

809 x 2 Information Officers.

(1618 calls)

About the work of CGE and how to lodge. complaints with CGE. How the CGE works and to get assistance from the CGE when Gender Mainstreaming organizational activities

 

 

 

Info provided telephonically, other calls referred to relevant departments and to Web- Site, Resource Centre or Provincial Offices.

Visits to the CGE Office Head Office

Average of 20 visitors per month x 2 Information Officers.

(40 Visitors per Month)

  • Lodging. Complaints.
  • About CGE interventions.
  • Research related.
  • Sexual. Harassment.
  • Violence against women.
  • Research.
  • Needing CGE intervention.

We share with the public the latest information regarding their questions. However, the legal questions are referred to the Legal Department. We sometimes refer requests that could be handled by our partners such as Network on Violence Against Violence, CSVR, SHEP, ADAPT etc.

 

3.14 Resource Centre

The Resource Centre is a specialized reference library serving as a complementary component of the Commission. It focuses on a variety of issues related to gender equality and women‘s human rights. Established to support the work of the Commission, the resource centre is the primary information component aiming to satisfy the information needs of the institution, its partners and the members of the public.

The centre’s main objective is to be accessible to a broad community involved in research and advocacy on gender equality and women issues.

The Collection

The centre houses an extensive collection of materials including books, journals and magazines, UN reports, conference papers, research reports, policy documents, constitutional law reports, legislation, newspaper clippings and audio-visual material.

The subject content covers a broad spectrum relating to gender-related issues such as governance, economy, poverty, gender-based violence, culture tradition and religion, gender & law, health, socio-economic rights, women’s human rights, development and other topics relating to gender.

Who may use the Resource Centre

The centre is open to external researchers, NGO’s, government departments and institutions, students and members of the general public involved in advocacy and research on gender issues. The centre may be used for reference purposes only.

Networking and Information Sharing

The Resource Centre continues with its undertaking to establish working relationships with similar organisations and institutions nationally, regionally and internationally for the benefit of both CGE and members of the public. For the year 2003/2004, the centre networked with about 22 institutions of the following:

Trade unions (with/without libraries).

Government Departments.

Schools.

NGO’s working with gender-related issues.

Gender Studies Units in Universities.

During this process of networking, information was exchanged and a lot of CGE material was distributed to the institutions. Few organisations were assisted in establishing information centres on gender-related materials.

Collection Development

For the last financial year the resource centre managed to develop its collection from 3 200 publications to 3 800 resources comprising of audiovisual, print and CD ROMs. This collection has been used by various people coming to visit the library.

Information Repackaging

In assisting individuals and organisations in supplying them with relevant and updated information, the centre has developed information packages in various gender-related topics. This information repackaging assist patrons who are looking for simplified, updated and organized information.

Information packages on topics like Gender & HIV/AIDS in South Africa, Gender Culture and Religion, Gender & Globalisation, Gender & Governance as well as other topics that are useful to gender activists that are engaged in lobbying and advocacy.

Information Requests

One of the main services of the centre is to attend to information queries from the members of the public. Information queries are received in various format - through telephone, e-mail, CGEinfo and from people visiting the library.

Statistics on Visitors to the Resource Centre

The Library receives about 10-12 visitors per week, individuals from NGO’s, university students, government departments and members of the general public. For the last information requested included among other things topics on Gender & elections, gender & governance, violence against women, role of women in parliament and many other topics.

There has been a number of requests from members of the public in other provinces who are in need of gender-related issues. There has been requests that the centre expands its services to other provinces other than Gauteng.

 

Nature of Request

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

June

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Visitors

40

36

21

39

28

26

44

46

20

33

35

18

CGE info e-mail

23

12

18

22

14

16

12

21

18

14

9

19

Telephone

18

28

13

8

22

19

9

12

6

19

17

12

Total

81

76

52

69

64

61

65

76

44

64

61

49

Table 1. Information Requests Statistics 2003/2004

 

 

Future Plans for the Resource Centre

For the current year the CGE plans to expand its library and information service to its provincial offices. Satellite resource centres will be established that will service provincial people.

 

3.15 Website

The website monitored electronically on a daily basis. The monitoring data gives the statistics about the Hits (amount of information accessed), number of Files opened, the number of Pages opened as well as the number of Visits per day. These statistics are also provided on the monthly average. The summary of the website information during the period under review is illustrated as follows:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 1. Usage Statistics for cge.org.za

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Month

Daily Avg

Monthly Totals

Hits

Files

Pages

Visits

Sites

KBytes

Visits

Pages

Files

Hits

Jun 2004

1842

1280

454

74

261

32726

297

1817

5122

7371

May 2004

2006

1451

514

81

1616

260741

2536

15947

45003

62199

Apr 2004

1945

1343

495

73

1495

263603

2219

14852

40301

58360

Mar 2004

2035

1390

550

83

1603

290255

2587

17062

43099

63103

Feb 2004

1818

1298

470

69

1507

228813

2027

13647

37660

52733

Jan 2004

1516

1155

392

71

1346

204683

2223

12172

35823

47012

Dec 2003

1112

891

296

63

1219

160214

1979

9202

27642

34476

Nov 2003

1587

1247

414

74

1516

218113

2240

12427

37436

47616

Oct 2003

1719

1293

471

79

1659

244680

2463

14602

40105

53292

Sep 2003

1529

1169

405

69

1269

202194

2093

12168

35087

45887

Aug 2003

1455

1032

402

64

1157

200201

1998

12484

32009

45114

Jul 2003

1436

1038

389

65

1300

195386

2034

12059

32190

44539

Totals

2501609

24696

148439

411477

561702

Table 2. Summary by Month

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Hits

62199

Total Files

45003

Total Pages

15947

Total Visits

2536

Total Kbytes

260741

Table 3. Usage Statistics for cge.org.za for May 2004

 

 

 

 

Figure 2. Daily Usage for May 2004

 

Figure 3. Hourly Usage for May 2004

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Figure 4. Usage by Country for May 2004

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. MONITORING

4.1 Promotion of Gender Equality

The Commission on Gender Equality Act No. 39 of 1996 mandates the CGE to monitor all institutions of the state for compliance with the requirements of the Constitution for the protection of the rights of all citizens. The Bill of Rights stipulates that everyone has the right to have her or his dignity respected and protected.

4.2 Survey on the implementation of the Domestic Violence Act

The Commission on Gender Equality has received a considerable number of complaints relating to implementation of Domestic Violence Act, thus prompting need for research in this regard. Research that has been conducted over the years by different organisations as well as government departments indicate that, although the DVA was promulgated more than five years ago, violence against women has not decreased even though there is a framework to address this scourge.

The CGE has also noted with concern the appalling decisions that are granted by courts in matters where women and children are complainants in gender based violence cases. Even though this may be due to ill prepared cases, there is a great concern that this excellent legislative framework is deliberately weakened.

As a result of the ever increasing reports of such incidents where women and children suffer from gender based violence the CGE embarked on a survey to determine the veracity and enormity of the failure of justice.

4.3 Summary of groundwork and findings of surveys conducted at

twenty magisterial courts and police stations

The findings of the survey revealed that:

Although the DVA imposes duties on the members of the SAPS and Judicial Services, there is still a need to carefully evaluate and monitor the roles of each stakeholder as provided in the Act.

Upsetting decisions are granted by courts in matters where women and children are complainants in gender based violence cases. Even though this may be as a result of ill prepared cases, there is a great concern that this excellent legislative framework is being weakened deliberately.

4.4 Spatial Development Initiatives Research - Coega, Phalaborwa and Richards Bay

Purpose of Study

Experience from other Spatial Development Initiatives suggests the absence of the importance of gender awareness and mainstreaming in development projects. This led to the commissioning of a 1999 study on gender analysis of the Maputo Development Corridor by the Commission on Gender Equality. Based on the recommendations of this study, the Commission on Gender Equality (CGE) has commissioned this study as a part of the process of developing guidelines for mainstreaming of gender issues in development projects.

 

Focusing on the Spatial Development Initiatives (SDI’s) in Coega, Richards Bay and Phalaborwa, this study has sought to examine the extent to which these initiatives have addressed gender issues in the design and implementation of planned local development initiatives with the following objectives:

 

The findings and recommendations are under embargo as the report has not been launched as yet. However these will be shared with Parliament during presentation.

 

4.5 Implementation of Maintenance Act at nine

magistrates court

Purpose of Research

In 1998, a new Maintenance Act was enacted to address some of the problems experienced by women accessing the private maintenance system. The intention of the new Act was to provide expedient and inexpensive access to justice for caregivers – mainly mothers – claiming support for their children. However, five years after the implementation of the new Act it appeared that there were still serious problems inherent in the maintenance system.

The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) and partner organisations that work with women received many reports of problems experienced by women, including the non-execution of maintenance orders and repeated delays by respondents. The CGE and its partners reported that the 1998 Act did not seem to have resulted in a reduction in the number of complaints at its Maintenance Roundtable in November 2001.

As part of its efforts to address this problem, the CGE commissioned the Community Agency for Social Enquiry (C A S E) to conduct research into the operation of the Maintenance Act. The broad aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of the implementation of the Maintenance Act of 1998, to establish the causes of systemic problems that still exist within the maintenance system, and recommend possible solutions.

The CGE consulted with the researchers on the broad aim of the research in order to refine same. The conclusion reached was that the research had to focus on very specific, well-defined objectives to ensure that work that had already been completed by other organisations on maintenance was not duplicated. This approach was adopted as there were a number of related initiatives which had looked, or were looking, at the impact of the 1998 Maintenance Act. To that end it was hoped the research added value, rather than repeating what was already being done by others.

Findings of the literature review

The first phase of the research therefore involved a literature review. The aim of the review was to establish what research had already been done so as to narrow the focus of the CGE investigation and avoid duplication of effort. The literature review included a situation analysis to the extent that it reported on some developments that had not been written up in previous research but which were important in determining how the CGE research could best be focused.

The review focused on literature which appeared after the coming into effect of the Maintenance Act of 1998. However, it included a few pieces which appeared before this time because of their close connection to the Act of 1998.

This section summarises some of the key points from the literature review. The full report is available as a separate document on the CGE website (www.cge.org.za).

The review first discussed issues raised in the Lund Committee report in respect of private maintenance (Budlender, 1996). It noted that virtually all informants of the Committee felt that the main problems with the private maintenance system related to poor administration rather than defects of the law. For these problems, changes in the law would not be the solution. The Committee also noted that most of the available research and knowledge reflected the situation in urban situations.

The Committee’s report included an extensive discussion of different ways of arriving at the amount of maintenance (i.e. "quantum") to be paid. It suggested that formula-driven approaches could be a way of avoiding the influence of power dynamics and the discretion of individual officials, and thus arriving at a more objective solution. The literature review included an annex which listed suggestions on reform emanating from a multi-stakeholder workshop organised by the Committee.

The review described the issue paper released by the South African Law Commission (SALC) in 1997 prior to the promulgation of the new Act. This paper notes that systems where the determination of the amount of maintenance is discretionary always tend to result in ‘unrealistically low awards and uncertainty’ (SALC, 1997:18). The review also discussed the consultation document released by the Department of Justice in 1997. This paper suggested that the SALC process would lead to more fundamental reforms while in the short term a new Act would provide for some ‘essential changes’ that would improve the system, even if they did not make it perfect. In respect of quantum, the document suggested that fast-tracked legislation provide ‘statutory guidance’ in the form of a checklist of factors to be considered as well as general principles. A proposed list of principles was included in the document (Department of Justice, 1997: 19).

The 1998 Act provided for the Minister to prescribe guidelines for deciding the level of maintenance but did include guidelines in the main text of the Act. In the draft bill, such guidelines were included in the main body of the legislation.

Despite the Department’s discussion document’s claim that the immediate legislation was to be an interim step, the website of the South African Law Reform Commission records no further activity since that date by Project 90, the project focused on maintenance. The review nevertheless recorded a range of other planned or ongoing reform initiatives.

The review included a fairly extensive discussion of the family courts as these have been the focus of several research initiatives. The 1999 review of four of the five family courts for the Law, Race and Gender (LRG) Research Unit (Budlender, 2000) noted that, overall, maintenance was the area which had received the least attention of the four areas covered by family courts.

The findings and recommendations are under embargo as the report has not been launched as yet. However these will be shared with Parliament during presentation.

 

 

 

 

4.6 Research on Gender Budgeting In Nine Municipalities

Purpose of the Study

In this research there were two purposes for the study. The primary aim was to get an indication of the gender-sensitivity of the municipalities’ budgets and the budget-making process. The secondary aim was to check the relative knowledge of the different actors.

The aims of this study was conducted to further:

The nine municipalities are:

The aim of the literature review is to provide the reader with an idea of the scope and variety of gender budget activities that have occurred to date in the country. It draws on both literature and experiences, some of which is unrecorded. It focuses, in particular, on issues that are relevant for gender budgets at local government level.

The findings and recommendations are under embargo as the report has not been launched as yet. However these will be shared with Parliament during presentation.

4.7 Experiences of Women Lawyers

In view of the complaints that cannot be investigated due to reluctance of complainants to fill out forms to submit them, the CGE embarked on a process to analyse experiences of women lawyers in practice as well the women magistrates. Reports on both are to be launched in 2004/2005 financial year.

This research, in the form of interviews and administration of questionnaires, took place in all 9 provinces from 2002 until 2003. Two distinct questionnaires were drafted for the women attorneys and female magistrates. It aimed to investigate the experiences of women lawyers in regards to attitudes of their clients, other legal professionals and service providers in the course of their practice. Graphs, based on the responses were formulated by RAU and have been collected to incorporate analysed qualitative data. A report will be written for this project and launched as soon as possible.

The findings and recommendations are under embargo as the report has not been launched as yet. However these will be shared with Parliament during presentation.

4.8 Implementation of domestic violence act

Between 2002 and 2003, the CGE conducted a monitoring and evaluation project on the effect and impact of DVA with Magistrates, SAPS and maintenance officers. Research was carried out in all nine provinces. Interviews were conducted with the target groups. A synopsis of the findings were shared at Provincial consultative conferences as well as the National conference in November 2003. The report on overall findings that was shared with participants at the National conference is attached. See Annexure

4.9 Women’s Access to Social Security

In the Strategic Plan of Action for the 2001-2008 period, the issue of gender and poverty was highlighted as a crucial area of concern that the Commission should focus on. The Eastern Cape branch of the CGE embarked on exploratory study into some aspects of Social Security in the province. Understanding that due to gender roles, women are disproportionately affected by poverty, the availability and access to social grants can be seen as an approach to mitigating some aspects of poverty. It was felt that research needed to go into the experiences and nature of women’s access to social grants in the Eastern Cape. The study aimed to investigate beneficiary’s experiences with grant processes, household expenditure patterns and recommended action by respondents.

The findings and recommendations are under embargo as the report has not been launched as yet. However these will be shared with Parliament during presentation.

4.10 Annual Report Card within Municipalities

In order for the CGE to fulfil its mandate to exercise the promotion, protection and monitoring of gender equality, a tool for monitoring commitments to the constitutional principles of gender equality needed to be developed. The tool allows the CGE to analyse the degree of gender awareness present in the organisational structure and attitudes of institutions in the public and private sectors, as well as in social development projects. It is anticipated that the results of this study would give the CGE a set of baseline indicators for overall monitoring purposes. The tool allows the CGE to make recommendations to organisations regarding commitments and frameworks that will aim to transform gender relations.

Due to the poor response by municipalities to the questionnaires on ARC in 2003, the questionnaire was refined and again, in February of 2004, 283 were sent out to all local municipalities. One questionnaire focusing on the internal structure of the municipality was sent to the municipal manager to determine degrees of gender mainstreaming and gender policies. An accompanying questionnaire was also sent to the head of department of the same municipality to determine the gender dimension of community development projects.

The response to this mailing has been slightly better but still relatively dismal; approximately 30 municipalities have responded despite accompanying letters detailing the Commission’s mandate and powers. Of the 30 responses, many of them have been completed by either the manager or the head of department but not both, resulting in the researcher unable to determine anything conclusive regarding gender concerns in the municipality. Also, many part of the questionnaires were left out and/or very little information given. The second leg of the project, conducting research with beneficiaries to complement or oppose the information given by heads of departments, has been put on hold due to the first phase of this project being rendered inconclusive.

Gender awareness in the municipalities needs to be assessed as this level of government is the closest to the communities. Although the CGE could not finalise the study there are plans underway to revisit the evaluation of gender awareness in the municipalities if Donor grants the CGE funding for different approach on the study.

4.11 Gender Analysis of Employment Equity

A study carried out by the CGE on practices in the private sector highlighted both positive developments as well as concerns in terms of the status and experience of women at work. As a follow up to the study and in carrying out its monitoring mandate, the CGE decided to examine some of the employment equity plans submitted to the Department of Labour through gender lens. The analysis would be looking at the degree of compliance with the Employment Equity Act, initiatives taken to address the special needs of employees and initiatives taken to improve the position of women. The findings of these analyses would inform recommendations that will be forwarded to the Department of Labour, Employment Equity Commission and other relevant bodies for future reporting purposes by employers.

4.12 Monitoring laws passed in Parliament

Protection of Gender Equality

Submissions to Parliament

In the last financial year, in additions to CGE submissions to various government departments and the South African Law Reform Commission, the CGE has made the following submissions to Parliament:

Alteration of Sex Description And Sex Status Bill

In response to complaints from members of the public with regard to discrimination suffered as a result of the non-legal recognition of the alteration of their sex status the Commission made a written submission to the Home Affairs Portfolio Committee on this Bill.

The submission supported this Bill, and expressed the urgency in promulgating this law, and raised more specific concerns and recommendations.

Report of the Committee of Enquiry Into a Comprehensive System Of

Social Security for South Africa

The CGE submitted a written and oral presentation on the Report, to the Social Development Portfolio Committee. Our submission covered the following issues: A constitutional framework for social security in South Africa; Approach to a comprehensive social security provisioning; as well as concerns and recommendations on Poverty and social assistance grants; employment and unemployment; state old age pension; a comprehensive dispensation for older persons. Our submission supported the need for a comprehensive social security system in South Africa, and recommended that social security address the basic needs of the poorest women.

The submission focused on older persons in our programme of action. CGE has recently conducted poverty hearings on Older Persons in all nine provinces, to identify the key concerns to older persons nationally.

Traditional Leadership And Governance Framework Bill

The CGE presented a written and oral presentation before the Portfolio Committee on Provincial and Local Government. Our key concerns included the composition and structure of the Traditional Councils, which provides for 60% undemocratically elected members; as well as the powers given to them in the Communal Land Rights Bill. The Bill lacked mechanisms which would ensure gender equality, as well as sanctions for non-compliance with certain provisions of the Bill. This Bill has been amended and approved by Parliament. The key concerns raised in the submission by the CGE have largely been disregarded.

Communal Land Rights Bill

The Commission has engaged, and worked closely with a number of community stakeholders, on key concerns with regard to this Bill. The Bill was fundamentally flawed in many respects, as it did not provide legally secure tenure for women. It also failed to meet section 25 of the Constitution. In light hereof, the Commission submitted a written submission on the Draft Bill to the Minister of Agriculture and Land Affairs, where we raised our concerns around gender inequality.

Initially our concerns were not incorporated in the Bill. The CGE presented a written and oral submission to Parliament, which was supported by a constitutional opinion from counsel, which explained in great detail how the Bill discriminates against women, and that it is unconstitutional.

National Health Bill

This Bill aims to provide a structured uniform health system within RSA, taking into account the obligations imposed by the Constitution, as well as other laws regulating health services.

The CGE presented a written and oral presentation to the Portfolio Committee on the National Health Bill. Our submission included a gendered constitutional perspective, as well as the views of Older Persons. This created a platform for debate on crucial issues in the Bill, and assisted in equipping interested organisations in making submissions to Parliament.

Our submission included issues on the reality of Older Persons; a constitutional perspective that a focus on women’s rights, reproductive health care, as well as concerns and recommendations in respect of specific provisions in the Bill. Some of our concerns were incorporated in the Bill, which was passed by Parliament.

Preferential Procurement Policy Framework Act 5 Of 2000

This act aims at giving effect to Section 217(3) of the Constitution by providing a framework for the implementation of the procurement policy contemplated in section 217(2) of the Constitution. The CGE is currently conducting research in the field of Procurement Reform Policies and our preliminary findings are that black women are not benefiting. The CGE submitted a submission to the Select Committee on Finance. Our submission focused on the following issues: The preference of black women; the act as a framework; creating access; and an appraisal of tender point system.

Corrections Draft White Paper

The CGE presented a submission on the Draft White Paper to the Portfolio Committee on Correctional Services. The submission included a constitutional perspective, and concerns and recommendations on specific issues in the Draft White paper.

Property Rates Bill

The CGE presented a written and oral submission on the Property Rates Bill, to the Portfolio Committee on Provincial and Local Government. Our submission highlighted the need for sustainable rates legislation, and raised concern about the current duality in service provision and rates collection between urban communities, and rural black communities. The submission highlights the nexus between the proposed Communal Land Rights Bill, and raised concern as to how this Bill will impact on the proposed Communal land Rights Bill.

Sexual Offences Bill

The CGE presented a submission to the Justice Portfolio Committee. The CGE supported the repealing of the provisions of the cautionary rule with regard to Sexual Offences. We made specific concerns and recommendations with regard to the provisions in this Bill.

UIF Amendment Bill

The CGE submitted a submission to the Labour Portfolio Committee on this Bill. Our submission included a constitutional perspective with regard to social security; maternity benefits; domestic workers, and older persons. We supported the amendment to the Bill, especially with regard to UIF for domestic workers, and welcomed the provision which excluded pensioners from contributing towards UIF.

In addition to the Parliamentary submissions, the CGE has made the following submissions:

Children’s Bill

The Commission made a submission to the Department of Social Development on the Children’s Draft Bill, focusing on the health aspect of the Bill. This submission was informed by complaints from the public and information gathered at a consultative conference on virginity testing the Commission had hosted. Our submission covered the following issues: virginity testing; female circumcision, as well as specific concerns and recommendations.

Islamic Marriages Draft Bill

The Commission is currently involved in various education and consultative workshops on this Draft Bill. The CGE has hosted and conducted various consultative workshops, which was used to inform our submissions to the South African Law Reform Commission on the provisions of this Draft Bill. One of our main concerns with this Draft Bill, is the default matrimonial proprietary regime, which is currently out of community of property, without the benefit of the accrual system.

Older Persons Bill

This Bill aims at dealing effectively with the plight of older persons by establishing a framework aimed at the empowerment and protection of older persons, and at the promotion and maintenance of their status, rights, well-being, safety and security. The CGE has hosted a workshop, as well as several dialogues discussing the pertinent issues relating to older persons. We are currently facilitating discussions, and creating awareness around this bill.

Ideally, the CGE ought to make submissions on legislation to the Government Departments, South African Law Reform Commission, Provincial and National Parliament. Due to resource constraints, our Parliamentary Office is limited in its submissions to Parliament, and currently focuses solely on submissions to the National Assembly.

The Commission on Gender Equality has received numerous concerns with regard to the notification for public hearings, and has raised this concern at various forums. The Parliamentary Office has written to the various Portfolio Committees, requesting them to provide the Commission with timeous notice in respect of submissions for public hearings.

In spite of all these obstacles, we aim at using our resources sparingly and creatively, to ensure that our submissions promote and protect gender equality.

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.13 Investigation of Complaints

In the past twelve months the nature of complaints received ad investigated are as follows: -

  1. Domestic Violence
  2. Maintenance
  3. Advertising Standards Authority (inclusive of opining)
  4. Gender bias in tendering process
  5. Eviction from plot (property)
  6. Religion / Christianity and gender
  7. Unfair dismissal labour
  8. In prison – males Justice system.

These complaints which includes those received from the provinces have been dealt with as follows: -

  1. referred to other organisations
  2. investigation still pending
  3. resolved and
  4. being monitored as respondent is attending to the issues complained about

 

Closed

Pending

Referred

 

418

210

314

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sex

Male

Female

 

 

380

823

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

GAUTENG

KZN

W CAPE

E CAPE

FREE STATE

LIMPOPO

348

154

321

181

96

103

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.14 Litigation

The CGE in March 2004 was friend of the court in the Constitutional court challenge of the Customary Law of Succession that still excludes women and children who are not first born from inheriting in estates of deceased persons. This was the case of Bhe which was brought to the Constitutional court by the Women’s Legal Centre. The Lawyers for Human Rights accepted instructions to act as attorneys for the CGE in the Bhe case. The matter was heard at beginning of March 2004 over two days.

  1. The essence of the case was challenging of provisions of provisions of Black Administration Act 38 of 1927 that excluded women and children who are not first born males to inherit from deceased Blacks.
  2. On the same day as Bhe case two other matters were heard one from SAHRC challenging the law on grounds of race and another by Legal Resources Centre where a woman was excluded from inheriting her late brother’s estate. All aspects on gender discrimination have been adequately addressed in heads of argument of all parties.

The judgment in all three matters have been reserved and will equally address all issues that were raised in by all parties.

4.15 Achievements

  1. Intervention in the Constitutional court;
  2. Submission at parliament;
  3. Co-operation between CGE and some of the government department in the justice cluster which led to the successful national conference against gender based violence;
  4. Successfully completing evaluation and monitoring on the implementation of Maintenance Act; Prevention of Domestic Violence Act; Spatial Development Initiatives in three provinces; Gender Budget in all provinces expect one Municipality;

4.16 Challenges

The CGE experienced a few impediments during monitoring, evaluation and research although most were overcome after discussions with the other parties involved. These are, for example,

  1. Most important and biggest challenge is that in accordance with the Promotion of Equality and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination, CGE is expected to:
  2. (i) Monitoring of PEPUDA entails having adequate number of qualified personnel who will be able to conduct research after having informed on how to use the CGE research tools. Otherwise the CGE will fail in fulfilling the responsibility that has been bestowed on it from the PEPUDA.

    (ii) Matters that have to be referred to court for adjudication will have to be thoroughly investigated first. The CGE does not have capacity and enough resources to prepare matters for litigation.

    (iii) Furthermore those that will be referred by court for conciliation will need people that have skills to conduct alternative dispute resolution mechanism.

  3. During the monitoring and evaluation of Prevention of Domestic Violence Act, some of the court officials as well as SAPS members were absent although appo8intmenst had been made with them well in advance. Those that were present did their best to provide the necessary information.
  4. Also during the research on implementation of Maintenance Act one of the court official who initially refused the researchers permission to interview personnel. It was found that a letter authorising CGE to conduct the study was delayed at that particular court was delayed.
  5. At one municipality, Msinga in KZN, all attempts were taken to secure an appointment with the relevant persons without success. Information on the purpose of the study as well as powers of the CGE was furnished to the Manager of the Municipality and others. This did not yield any generate positive results for the CGE.

 


Limited resources are great challenge as a result, the CGE has not yet managed to reach the majority of people, who are black, poor, often living in rural areas, on farms or in informal settlements in the urban areas and this is due budgetary constraints.

Capacity building and skill development are urgently needed. Also urgently needed is the nation-wide education and advocacy campaign to educate the public about the CGE’s efforts to advance gender equality in accordance with its mandate.

The CGE was involved in the domestic violence case that led to the recuse of the magistrate on the ground of bias. The matter has been referred to the Magistrates' Commission for their attention.

Hostile Environmental Factors That Impact on The CGE

Apart from financial constraints, the following are some of the obstacles that impact on the CGE’s performance and existence The:

The term of office of the founding Commissioners ended at different periods. Delays in the appointment of new Commissioners that resulted in a vacuum in terms of political leadership in CGE.


 4.17 Recommendations

These recommendations were taken from the 2001 – 2002 annual reports.

The Commission on Gender Equality is not fully operational in some of our most needy areas such as the Northern Cape and the North West, and this makes it difficult for the Commission to reach some of the most rural areas.

During the year under review the Commission educated about and explored the link between gender and the following themes because of their interconnection as well as the fact that HIV/AIDS as another form of form of gender based violence acts like a girdle that binds them all together.

4.18 Gender based violence

The Commission has received a significant number of complaints from the public about the non-implementation of the Domestic Violence Act. Furthermore, a number of NGO’s have researched this issue and can attest to the fact the implementation of the Act is haphazard.

The implementation of the Domestic Violence Act has in part been successful and at times difficult, and this is due to a number of factors, such as the low importance that some law enforcement agents attach to the issue of violence against women.

4.19 The Commission recommends that

It is universally accepted that if crimes against women were separated from other crimes this would assist the police to: -

    1. Monitor the number of incidents of violence some women experience during the course of one year. This would help the police to trace patterns and trends of the violence and would minimise incidents of femicide
    2. Provide an analysis of the conviction rates in order to generate accurate statistics, this would serve as a monitoring tool and would motivate the police to ensure that they adhere to the requirements of the implementation of the act; and
    3. Encourage women to report incidents of violence.
    4. Need to employ maintenance investigators and the effective use of garnishee orders.

4.20 Gender and Poverty

This theme was the flagship for the CGE for the financial year 2003/4

Poverty Hearings for the Elderly in urban and rural settings, including informal settlements and farming areas

The Commission on Gender Equality undertook an exploratory enquiry into the gendered nature of the lived experience of older persons in South Africa who are living in poverty in urban and rural settings, including informal settlements and farming areas, with an emphasis on the comparative experience of women and men, widows and widowers. The enquiry included all cultural and racial groups. It fell into two separate but related parts. The first comprised a literature and research review and the second, an exploratory pilot study undertaken in all nine provinces.

  

In assessing impact the researchers were to consider all relevant laws, policies and bills in general. These are but a few of the recommended policy documents that were to be examined:

  

The enquiry should explored the gendered lived experience of poor older persons living in urban and rural contexts, including informal settlements and farming areas. Special focus was given to the comparative experience of women and men, in particular widows and widowers. The issues that needed to be taken into account in the interviews and workshop schedules were as follows:

  1. Access to and ownership of land, housing and property
  2. Inheritance and succession.
  3. Access to pensions and social grants.
  4. Access to social services, including health and welfare.
  5. Impact of culture, tradition and religious practices on the quality of life and well-being of older persons.
  6. Relationships with families care-givers and service providers.

The report on the above is still being finalized and will be launched soon.

Poverty is a threat to political stability. It is not conducive to development as it imposes a profound economic and social obligation on the government. It also robs the present and future generations of a huge human resources’ potential.

Studies indicate that women constitute a significant number of those who are poor, thus the theme explored the following:

4.21 The CGE Budget

Since its inception, the Commission on Gender Equality has been operating on a low budget having only 10% of the funds allocated annually by the Treasury remaining for Programme Implementation, the rest of the funds being put into administrative costs. A lot of fund raising had to be done to allow programmatic work to be carried out. The Treasury allocation for the year under review was R17 million that was to be utilised to run five provincial offices and a national office. About R2 million was raised to make up for the short fall. Treasury has since made an increase in the allocation for the financial year 2004/2005 to allow the CGE to open two more offices. These offices will be opened in the Northern Cape and North West.

There is need to have the CGE budget increased by Treasury to manage to cater for the programmatic work and allow the CGE to be properly represented in all provinces. At the moment, one of the debilitating factors is the scanty staff that the CGE is operating with. For example, the provinces only have a Co-ordinator at Assisting director level, a secretary at level 6 and a general assistant at level 2. All of the 12 Commissioners operate at National level offering services to the provinces when ever required.

4.22 Men’s involvement in the quest to end gender based violence

One the declaration made at the national conference on gender based violence in November 2003 was the need to involve men in ending this form of violence. As a result the Commission opted to incorporate this quest into its review and celebrations of our ten years of democracy to ensure that whilst the project maps men’s involvement it also explores the past.

There have been a lot of discussions with regards to the role that men should play in the gender transformation agenda. Furthermore, the discussion about men’s involvement in solving issues of gender based violence is also a focus of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women. Men’s role in discussion on gender based violence should be defined by the culture that is now firmly established in our constitution, that of gender equality. There is an argument advanced in public discourse that a number of the social ills that relate to the scourge of Gender based violence for instance can be traced to the negative attitude that patriarchy has on the democratic culture that our country is introducing.

There is then a crucial need to clearly define the role that men can and should play in the transformation process in the country. It is an accepted fact that as this is done it should not overshadow the leadership and prominent role that women should continue to play in the struggle for gender justice.

In most of the work that has been undertaken hitherto the focus was on empowering women to level the playing field. This is proper and appropriate given that it is this sector that has been in the receiving end of gender inequality. It should be noted that much has been achieved in this conjuncture in terms of advancing the agenda of gender transformation. The objective of the project is to:

The project will take the form of provincial seminars which will culminate in a national conference. It will espouse the theme Ten Years of Democracy: where are the Men in Gender Transformation? Limpopo ran the seminar during the year under review and has already set the trend for the remaining eight provinces.