'Zuma must uphold gender equality'

Mary Papayya

Mary Papayya

A women's rights watchdog has appealed to president-elect Jacob Zuma to show his commitment to the principles of gender equality enshrined in the Constitution.

Gender Links called on Zuma to apply gender parity to his cabinet and to appoint an equal number of men and women premiers in the eight provinces where the ANC obtained the majority of the votes.

"We call on the president-elect to apply the 50-50 principle to his new cabinet and the appointment of premiers in the eight provinces in which the ANC is in the majority," said spokesperson Kubi Rama.

Rama also urged Zuma to "repudiate" those who mocked and vilified his "rape accuser" during the trial outside the Johannesburg high court in 2006.

"We ask him to create a climate conducive to his rape accuser, who lives in exile as a result of the threats on her life, to reclaim her citizenship by returning home."

Rama said Zuma should also encourage debates that promote women's rights.

"It is important that the president-elect establishes and supports strong, independent and fearless structures for promoting gender equality, including addressing the current dysfunctionality of the Commission on Gender Equality."