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SALGA Women Commission Lekgotla

 

 


Posted: 10 August 2022

Themed "Generation Equality: Realizing Women's Rights for an Equal Future",SALGA in Mpumalanga hosted the Provincial SALGA Women Commission (SWC) Lekgotla at the Premier Hotel Winkler on the 4th and 5th of August 2022.

 

The Lekgotla was attended by women in different leadership positions within local government and fulfilled the following objectives:

  • Take stock of women representation in local government.
  • Capacitate municipalities on the functions of women caucuses and their relationship with the SWC.
  • Draft a plan of action for the Mpumalanga SWC.

 

The SALGA Women Commission was established in 2010 with the purpose of ensuring that gender mainstreaming and women's issues, in particular, receive adequate attention at local government level in policy and in practice. One of the key roles of the SWC is to keep track of Gender parity, women empowerment and Gender Mainstreaming in municipalities. This is done through gender audits, IDP analysis as well as monitoring meetings with municipalities.

 

The two-day session opened with a Candle lighting ceremony done by the SALGA Provincial Executive Committee Deputy Chairperson Cllr. Leah Mabuza. "Today as we begin this SALGA Women Lekgotla we light the flame of a candle which symbolizes remembrance. We light this candle in memory of our loved ones. We light this candle with gratitude that they lived and that we shared their life for a time. This light also represents our own rebirth and renewal as we seek meaning in life; as we strive for women empowerment and gender equality; as we look to future's promise of economic freedom and unity", said Cllr Mabuza.

 

Cllr. Jesta Sidell who is the SALGA Mpumalanga Provincial Chairperson officially opened the Lekgotla and welcomed the various women who are in attendance. "It is a great pleasure and privilege to welcome all of you on behalf of the SALGA Provincial Executive Committee in Mpumalanga. We gather in this 2022 SALGA Women Commission Lekgotla under the theme "Generation Equality: Realizing Women's Rights for an Equal Future" which is also the National Theme for Women's month this year", said the Chairperson.

 

The Mpumalanga SALGA Women Commission Commissioner, Cllr Sibongile Makushe, set the tone for the Lekgotla and highlighted that "2022 marks 27 years since the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action of 1995. The Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action of 1995 (Beijing Platform for Action) is the most visionary agenda for the empowerment of women and girls. The Beijing Platform for Action set out how to remove the systemic barriers that hold women back from equal participation in all areas of life, whether in public, in private and in politics. Even though there is some progress made, real change has been excruciatingly slow for many women and girls in the world".

Cllr. Makushe also congratulated Cllr Phindile Magagula as the newly appointed Executive Mayor of Nkomazi Local Municipality. She further condemned the high levels of Gender Based Violence and femicide of women by people close to them, which are their husbands, their boyfriends and family members. The recent being the rape of 8 women in Krugersdorp as well as the brutal murders of two teenagers in KwaZulu Natal. Both girls were 18 years old and doing matric.

 

"In order to achieve "Generation Equality", we need to know, understand and play our role in local government as women. We need to ensure functionality of women structures and Gender structures in all our municipalities. We need to ensure that those structures have approved plans, budgets, as well as monitoring and evaluation mechanisms" concluded Cllr. Makushe.

 

As the first day of the Lekgotla continued, a Message of Support was delivered by Commissioner L Ntuli-Tloubatla from the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) and presentations were received from:

  • Mrs Gugu Langa: Provincial Electoral Officer at the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) who spoke on Women representation in Mpumalanga municipalities post 2021 Local Government Elections.
  • Mrs. Decia Maluma: Acting Provincial Director of Operations at SALGA who spoke about Women representation in Local Government structure.
  • Ms RV Jones from the Mpumalanga Department of Co-Operative Governance & Traditional Affairs who spoke on the Provincial status quo of Gender Mainstreaming.
  • Mrs. Sibusisiwe Goba-Sigawuke: Senior Advisor at SALGA who spoke on the Roles and Responsibilities of Women and Gender Structures in Local Government.
  • Ms. N Nabo from the Department of Women, Youth and Persons with Disability who spoke on the Preventative Strategy on GBVF.

 

A panel discussion was also held during the Lekgotla which discussed "How do we localise the global efforts to achieve gender equality by 2030?". Panelists included the Mpumalanga SWC Commissioner Cllr S Makushe, SALGA Portfolio Head Ms. N Makanda, Nkomazi Local Municipality Director for Community Services Ms. T Kaseke, and Ms. S Zondi from Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency (MEGA).

 

The Lekgotla concluded on the second day with a Health promotion talk (Women's Health) from the Department of Health, Financial Wellness education from Old Mutual, and Economic Empowerment from the Mpumalanga Economic Growth Agency (MEGA).

 
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