ANC Women's League want equal rights
THE ANC Women's League has demanded equal representation in business as men. But they have avoided the topical issue of the ruling party having a female president.
In their gender paper for discussion at the ANC policy conference in June the women's league claimed there was already equal representation between men and women in all structures of the ANC but need equal representation in business, job opportunities, skills development and mentorship programmes.
ANCWL spokeswoman Troy Martens said representation of women in leadership positions in the ANC would be discussed when the ANC opened the succession debate.
She argued that the ANC has ordered members not to discuss the succession, saying to include that in their discussion paper meant opening the debate.
"We want the ANC to make our proposals ANC policy. There may be changes here and there," she said.
"We do not want equal rights on paper only but we also want to see action."
In 2007, the league lost the debate to have the ANC adopt its proposal of a 50/50 policy of women representation for all positions, including the party's top six positions.
The top six in the ANC include the positions of president, deputy president, secretary general, chairman and treasurer general.
But the ANC agreed to having 50/50 from national executive committee level.
The other proposals the women's league has suggested is that state-owned enterprises should ensure that in the awarding of tenders and contracts, 50% should go to women. It is demanding that such tenders and contracts should value add for sustainability.
The league wants to see women across the country benefiting, including in the rural areas.
"Woman-headed households are generally much poorer than men..." the women's league said.
"This is especially the case in the rural areas and thus renders women more vulnerable to food insecurity."
The women's league has also proposed that in the R9-billion jobs fund, which aims to create 15000 jobs over three years, 50% of women should benefit.
The fund was announced last June by the National Treasury and was already accepting applications from companies and non-governmental organisations with innovative job creation projects.
"Women must make up 50% of beneficiaries of this target for jobs and within all the sectors identified, including the skills development provided," the league said.
"In awarding contracts and tenders, especially to women-only co-operatives, state-owned enterprises must ensure that they create markets, value chains and value add for sustainability."
The women's league further stated that many women continued to operate in the informal trade sector, including the informal cross-border trade.