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ANC policies will further increase women representation in parliament and government to 50% by 2009

  • Where made: Party manifesto

In its 2009 manifesto the ANC prefaced this by noting that 15 years of struggle for gender equality meant 30% of all parliamentarians, provincial legislature members and councillors were now women and, in cabinet, 43%. It would now push this to 50%, but gave itself just a year to achieve this.

At the end of 2009 women held 29.6% of the upper house which is the national assembly, and 44.5% of the lower house, the national council of provinces, or 42.7% of the combined total. This was according to data from the Inter-Parliamentary Union and UN Women.  

(Note: The 178-member IPU notes that the figures on the distribution of seats in the national assembly do not include the 36 special rotating delegates appointed on an ad hoc basis. All percentages given are therefore calculated on the basis of the 54 permanent seats.)

Some 46.7% of South Africa’s Cabinet were women in 2009, according to StatsSA data. For councillors, the share was 37% in 2011, and 35% in 2006.

What of earlier years?

For further context, in 2004 women had held 32.8% of the 400-member upper house, which is the national assembly, and 20% of the lower house, the national council of provinces

In 2014 the share of women in parliament fell to 40%. According to the SADC Gender Barometer this share has not topped 50% in the six years at any point to 2017.

In its 2009 annual commission for employment equity report, the department of labour said that 45% of all government employees - 1.2 million - at the national, provincial and local government level were women. This included both permanent and non-permanent employees. -Africa Check, May 2018

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