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Why you NEED to familiarise yourself with the NEW Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill

by , 28 March 2014
Did you know there's something called the Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill and that it's been adopted in the National Assembly?
We'll forgive you if this is the first time you're hearing about this Bill. Government has been passing so many legislations lately; it's just hard to keep up.
That said; you need to get up to speed with this new Bill as it has far reaching consequences for you as an employer. Here's what you need to know about the Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill.

The National Assembly has adopted the Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill

The Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill was adopted in the National Assembly earlier this month.

According to iol, the Bill has now been passed to the National Council of Provinces for further consultations and public hearings.

So what exactly is the Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill?

Well, as the name suggests, the Bill was designed to empower and promote gender equality.

Government is always talking about addressing South Africa's three challenges: Unemployment, inequality and poverty. And this Bill is aimed at tackling inequality.

In the iol report, the Minister of women, children and people with disabilities says 'women of South Africa have said to us that they cannot wait any longer to share in the fruits of our democracy.'

She added that the Bill is a 'precondition for meeting the challenge of reducing poverty, promoting sustainable development and building good governance.'

But some critics believe the Bill will have serious consequences for employers…
 

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The Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill has the following implications for your company

Global Business Solutions says that 'this Bill will have far reaching consequences for employers as it criminalises discrimination against women within the corporate environment.'

As an employer, you'll be required to establish a framework aimed at empowering women within the workplace.

Sounds confusing?

The Bill states that 'despite any other law, targets for women in all laws and policies on economic empowerment shall be at least 50%.'

This means there must be at least 50 percent representation of women in decision-making structures.

According to Global Business Solutions, the Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill says you must:
 

  • Develop and implement plans and measures to align their laws and policies within two years
  • Promote the economic empowerment of women
  • Promote women's access to economic and educational opportunities and productive resources
  • Increase access to financing, procurement, land rights, skills development, especially entrepreneurial skills and capacity building of women
  • Facilitate employment opportunities and access to the markets for women
  • Compile such data relating to economic empowerment of women as may be prescribed
  • Comply with prescribed measures aimed at achieving the economic empowerment of women as contemplated by the applicable legislation.


Critics always say that South Africa is great when it comes to developing legislation, but fails when implementing these laws. So it remains to be seen if this Bill will achieve its objectives especially considering the criticism it has received. We'll keep you updated regarding this stringent Bill.



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