Gender non-parity in a nutshell

ANC Women's League members. Picture: Refilwe Modise.

ANC Women's League members. Picture: Refilwe Modise.

The ruling party that promised us a ‘new dawn’, that promised to repair our country, can only muster up two female candidates as premiers?

The reason why gender parity is such an important electioneering tool is because parties know that, over the years, there has been a feminisation of poverty.

Women have had to bear the brunt of owning a situation of disadvantage. It is women who bear the brunt of child maintenance defaulters. It is the women of our society who have to negotiate, in some cases plead, for maternity leave that’s just and fair.

Very recently I read how South African female artists must “put their hearts on the back burner” while pregnant because the industry does not seem receptive to their pregnancies.

They sometimes have to go as far as hiding the fact that they are expecting.

Very recently, Lebo Mashile declared that “survival, job security, loss of income, healthcare and access to safe amenities for mothers in public spaces are real issues”.

Why, in 2019, with all the advancements of our times, is it impossible for pregnant artists to secure work?

Why are pregnant women who appear on our television screens made to conceal their bumps?

I cannot understand how a pregnancy is a hindrance to a stellar job performance.

Then, post elections, how many women will make parliamentary and premier candidate lists?

This in a sea full of men who have had enough public space to garner support?

The ruling party that promised us a “new dawn”, that promised to repair our country, can only muster up two female candidates as premiers?

I refuse to believe that the women within the organisation have not done enough to rise through the ranks.

I can understand continuity in the provinces that chose to retain leadership, but that other five provinces could only produce two women leaves me wondering if women are only good enough in small doses.

Those very same parties who advocated for gender parity have now reached the point where they must put their money where their mouths are.

The early stages of the test – for the ruling party, at least – has very little promise in my eyes.

Kekeletso Nakeli-Dhliwayo.

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