121128report - REPORT OF THE NATIONAL WOMENS CONFERENCE...

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REPORT OF THE NATIONAL WOMEN’S CONFERENCE: AUGUST 2011 31 JULY-03 AUGUST 2011 BIRCHWOOD HOTEL, BOKSBURG “Sexism, just like racism, is an acquired attitude of the mind, which can be overcome” HE Mr Kgalema Motlanthe, Deputy President, RSA Speaking at the National Women’s Conference, 3 August 2011
Department for Women, Children and People with Disabilities 36 Hamilton Street Arcadia Pretoria Private Bag X 931, Pretoria 0001 Tel: +27 (012) 359 0470 Fax: +27 (012) 359 0013
FOREWORD TRANSLATING THE MOMENTUM OF THE FIRST NATIONAL WOMEN’S CONFERENCE INTO ACTION I am proud to present this report of the first National Women’s Conference: August 2011 hosted by the Department for Women, Children and People with Disabilities (DWCPD). This National Conference on gender and women’s empowerment, which happened at the start of the national women’s month activities, was a significant expression of the voice of the women of this country. It was a collective consensus of women from all over the country – women in the national, provincial and local executive levels, women in government, women from rural areas, women with disabilities, women living with HIV, women in business both formal and informal, women in trade unions, elderly women, young women, women-based NGOs, and women in civil society organizations. The Conference was also well attended by progressive men’s organizations that play a role in advancing women’s empowerment and gender equality. The Conference was meant to re-examine progress made by Government towards its commitment to a non-sexist society and its transformation agenda, identify shortcomings and propose recommendations that would ensure that women’s issues and gender equality are mainstreamed across and within governance priorities – in particular the 5 national priorities and the 12 outcomes of Government adopted and endorsed by the nation during the 2009 elections. The commitment to a non-sexist society has always been part of the democratic government’s policy. According to the Constitution (1996), women are recognized as equal citizens, with equal rights and responsibilities. The women of this country have always been at the forefront of the struggle for their political franchise, emancipation and empowerment for a very long time, putting forward a vision for a non-sexist society. It is the democratic Government since 1994 that has given effect to this ardent calling of women by institutionalizing gender equality and women’s empowerment through its policies, institutional arrangements and intervention measures. The creation of a dedicated Ministry for Women, Children and People with Disabilities in May 2009, and its concomitant Department, is an articulation of this commitment to the women of the country. This very important pronouncement must continue to have a significant impact on the lives of women and girls with special emphasis on their development, advancement and empowerment and the achievement of gender equality.
As such, the first National Conference for

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