Tag Archive | department of committee on women

Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill

50% equity Bill for women headed for law….

black white womenThe Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill, drafted by the department of committee on women, children and people with disabilities and tabled before Parliament, demands 50% equity in all businesses for women where “decision making processes” are concerned.

The Bill  appears to have been passed by cabinet, although not making it through first base with NEDLAC. Having had such a response by cabinet, presumably from the President himself, it is highly possible that the Bill will be powered through this last parliamentary session of the present government. The Bill was tabled by minister Lulu Xingwana.

BUSA strongly objected

In its parliamentary phase after tabling, Business Unity SA (BUSA) objected to the Bill in a submission stating that there was absolutely no need for such legislation when laws were already in place covering black equity in which the subject of gender equity or equality was adequately covered.

BUSA argued that in terms of the suggestions made in the Bill, called the Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill, such a Bill would attempt to override legislation already in place such as the B-BBEE Act and Employment Equity Acts, this particular Bill calling for 50% equity for women in “decision making areas”.

No labour pool for such law

BUSA called the Bill “unacceptable and unrealistic”, adding that in most cases the labour pool from which the particular type of work envisaged would not even contain a 50% reserve of women. The DA said the Bill was probably unconstitutional.

Some attempt to justify the Bill was made by the department on women, children and people with disabilities at committee level when they said the Bill would not have been approved by cabinet unless government was serious about the fact that only 20% of top posts in business were occupied by women.

A spokesperson said for the department subsequently said that the Bill might initially apply to possibly as yet undefined bodies such as state boards and political formations, which again the DA referred to as “cannibalising” existing state institutions.

The Bill never made it past the NEDLAC process last year but in the last days before Parliament closed in 2013, the Bill appeared on the tabled list and comments were called for by Parliament in the early portion of the 2014 session.

The Bill has now been debated in Parliament, that debate and the issues involved being with our clients before posting on this site. The Bill will undoubtedly be passed in the light of the passion by the minister for the Bill, with opposition members across the spectrum voting against or abstaining.

Previous articles referring to this subject

http://parlyreportsa.co.za//bee/employment-equity-amendment-bill-looks-set-easy-passage/
http://parlyreportsa.co.za//bee/court-ruling-equity-quotas-affects-bee/
http://parlyreportsa.co.za//labour/employment-equity-bill-criminalises-offenders/

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