Yesterday, 62 organisations and networks (including the PSAM) registered their strong objection to Parliament’s public participation process being undertaken for the 6 appointments that are to be made to the Commission on Gender Equality (CGE). Their letter put forward measures to assist the Portfolio Committee on Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities to address the serious shortcomings in the proposed public consultation.

The letter explains:

“The CGE has a critical mandate as a Chapter 9 institution, charged with promoting respect for gender equality and its protection, development, and attainment; and to monitor, investigate, research, educate, lobby, advise, and report on issues of gender equality.

In the current South African context gender based violence wreaks unabated destruction; women continue to bear the brunt of inequality, poverty, and unemployment (where women are employed, they continue to earn on average 30% less that what men earn for work of equal value); hate crime, hate speech, and discrimination against LGBTIQ+ communities goes unchecked, often with deadly consequences. It cannot be disputed that the mandate of the CGE and the experience, expertise, and temperament of its commissioners is ever more important.”

The organisations have requested a response from the Committee by Friday 9 September 2022.