Zuma warns firms over parity
PRIVATE companies without women as directors and executive managers will soon face penalties, President Jacob Zuma said on National Women's Day
Zuma said government would also be amending the Employment Equity Act to bring about equal pay for work of equal value between sexes.
Addressing thousands of women who had gathered at the Union Buildings in Pretoria, Zuma said representation of women at top management levels in the public sector remains "inadequate".
Zuma said he has directed Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities Lulu Xingwana to speed up the Gender Equality Bill to enforce gender parity measures across all sectors of society. "The census reveals that although there is a slight increase in the employment of women in top executive positions, this increase is minimal.
"What is more disturbing is that there are still companies that have a zero percentage of women representation as directors and executive managers," Zuma said.
He said the ANC-led government administration had increased the number of woman both at national and provincial level.
There are 14 Cabinet ministers and 15 deputy ministers. At provincial level, five out of nine premiers are women.
The ANC Women's League said in a statement that patriarchy still affected society, "threatening to undermine the huge gains made by women". "These gains and equalities need to go beyond the paper they are printed on and filter down to women on the ground," the league said.
The celebrations were kicked-off with the unveiling of the women's memorial site at the Lillian Ngoyi Square in the Pretoria CBD.
Ngoyi is one of the leaders of the 1956 women's march to the Union Buildings.