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The Representation of Women in Municipal Councils and Executive Structures – Analyzing the trends in the implementation of the Municipal Structures Act.

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Presentation on theme: "The Representation of Women in Municipal Councils and Executive Structures – Analyzing the trends in the implementation of the Municipal Structures Act."— Presentation transcript:

1 The Representation of Women in Municipal Councils and Executive Structures – Analyzing the trends in the implementation of the Municipal Structures Act from the results of the 2006 and 2011 South African Local Government Elections PRESENTED BY : THULAGANYO SELOKELA CONFERENCE ON LOCAL GOVERNMENT AND THE LAW: HARNESSING THE LAW TO PROMOTE AND IMPROVE LOCAL GOVERNMENT- PE, South Africa October 2013

2 BACKGROUND Representation of women councillors in the South African Local Government Municipal Structures Act request for 50% female candidates on party lists Besides Structures Act, other national policies and legislative measures seek to improve representation of women in public office. E.g. The Constitution, The National Gender Policy, the Local Government Gender Policy Framework and the recent Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill by the Ministry for Women, children and people with disabilities Despite these efforts and the obvious majority female population in SA, women remain under-represented in public office. Specific emphasis on local councils Under-representation indicates non-compliance with Structures Act

3 Legislative, policy and political framework informing gender parity within the political context Gender parity- Achieved when there’s equal representation of women in political decision-making South African’s national, regional and international obligation to advance women and enforce women equal participation in public and private spheres sets the basis for implementation. E.g. SA Constitution, SADC 2008 Protocol on Gender Development, CEDWA, Beijing Platform for Action and MDG’s(goal no. 2) Under the Constitution, s 7(2) and S 9(2) must be read together to realize a direct instruction for local government to advance women. “The Constitution requires national, provincial and local governments to adopt legislation and other measures to advance and promote gender equality.” The Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill, although has been approved by cabinet still remain to become enforceable law. Key element of the Bill is that non-compliance warrants punitive measures being taken against defaulting entity (the word entity include local councils and council executive). Clause 11 requires 50% representation, 12 authorizes Minister to take steps, 13 Gender discrimination and non-compliance to Bill creates offence National Gender Policy and the Local Government Gender Policy Framework provides guideless to local government officials and office bearers to adhere with international obligation to empower women in communities and the council. Downside of these policies is that they are outdated and there lacks a written and published systematic feedback on whether the guidelines and policy objectives met

4 Cont… Item 11 (3) of Schedule 1 and Item 5 (3) of Schedule 2 Structures Act: ‘Every party must [seek] to ensure that fifty percent of the candidates on the party lists are [women] and that women and men candidates are evenly distributed through the list.’ Three components:  1. This ‘requirement’ is applicable to PR candidates only not ward candidates.  2. Candidates appear on part-lists according to their popularity or ranking within the party. The Act does NOT say how this even distribution of gender is to take place.  3. The word ‘seek’ implies parties are given discretion whether to comply or not. Non-mandatory provision.

5 The representation of women (election) candidates and councillors Indicators: 2006 and 2011 Municipal Election candidate submissions and outcomes An increase in the parties standing for elections, one would expect an increase in women candidates. Sadly stats says otherwise One also concludes that the objective of the Structures Act provision on equal female election candidates was hoped to ultimately have a bearing on the election outcome

6 Election Candidates ANC is the only party close to parity ANC only party with quota policy DA is against quota policy Others claim to empower women but stats show otherwise

7 Women Councillors Female rep in local gov. has declined between 2006 and 2011 despite an increase in female candidates None of the parties achieved 50% rep of female councillors. Even ANC. Objective of Structures Act not met

8 Women Councillors in the Executive Municipal executive:  The Structures Act provides for either a mayoral or an executive committee depending on the typology of a municipality. E.g. MMC or ExCo member Under ExCo women might have better representation provided that the council itself represent gender parity, because the full council elects members. However, with MMC the executive Mayor is the one the elects the members of the MMC The data was collected from profiling the executive structures of 191 municipalities

9 Highlights: Female Exco members Of all the 7 provinces, Limpopo has the highest representation of women as Exco members. 45.8% of total Exco members in the province Figures for the Kwa-Zulu Natal and the Western Cape provinces indicate least ExCo female representation. 25.8% and 34.5% respectively. Overall rep of female in councils, KZN had the least women ward councillors 17% Of all the 7 provinces, there were 72 mayors and 17 deputy mayors. With figures in KZN indicating the highest female rep in the mayoral positions with 21 Mayors and 15 Dep. Mayors The inference is that the women elected were PR councillors as rep in wards from the province does not favour women

10 Highlights: Female MMC’s There were 42 women executive mayors across all provinces Between 2.1% and 27.7% were women executive mayors and deputy executive mayors. The figures indicate that there is a great variation and no consistency in the representation of women executive mayors and deputy executive mayors The figures for the Eastern Cape and Mpumalanga provinces indicated most female rep in the dep. and executive mayor positions. 12 Exe. Mayors and 1 Dep. Ex. Mayor in EC and 10 Exe Mayors in MP Of all the 8 provinces (figures for KZN were not available), Gauteng and EC have the highest representation of women MMC’s. 48.5% and 46.3% respectively MMC member election lies with the Executive mayor so its inevitable that the political preference will play a role in his or her selection

11 Conclusions and Recommendations Five conclusions:  Women are under-represented  (Apparent) Better representation in executive structures  The representation of the political parties in council impacts on the representation of women in the executive structures  Inadequate regulation and uncertainty in the Structures Act are obstacles for implementation  Overall finding  Structures Act (provision) is not being implemented

12 Cont… Recommendations: The intention is not to change the entire policy on gender representation at local government The recommendations seek to ensure that more stringent and compelling measures are adopted  Compliance with the Act should be mandatory  The Act should set criteria to regulate the election of councillors in the executive structures in order to accommodate the gender distribution within councils  The electoral system, which divides the municipal council seats equally between PR and wards councillors, may need revision  Addressing the under-representation of women in local government can only be possible if there is a systematic monitoring of trends

13 To access a copy of the complete thesis, please visit publications/latest-publications THANK YOU


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