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Multi-Party Women’s Caucus to Invite Finance Minister as it is Unhappy with Responses on Gender Issues

The responses received from National Treasury (NT) on gender-responsive budgets and the update on no VAT exemption on sanitary products is an indication that insufficient progress has been made

CAPE TOWN, South Africa, /APO Group/ —

The Multi-Party Women’s Caucus (MPWC) today resolved to invite the Minister of Finance to a meeting, as it unhappy with the responses and progress on gender-related matters including free sanitary products.

The MPWC do not appreciate this dilly-dallying as it can drag on till the end of the term, when new members come in

Committee Chairperson Ms. Masefele Story Morutoa, said the responses received from National Treasury (NT) on gender-responsive budgets and the update on no VAT exemption on sanitary products is an indication that insufficient progress has been made. This was the second engagement with NT on the matter of sanitary products. “The MPWC do not appreciate this dilly-dallying as it can drag on till the end of the term, when new members come in. This is certainly not a sign of good governance.”

The MPWC heard that eight of the nine provinces were already implementing programmes to provide sanitary products. However, they are only distributed to indigent girl leaners at schools. The MPWC expressed concern that indigent adult females are overlooked in these programmes. NT also informed the MPWC that the Department of Women has developed a policy framework for government’s response on the matter, which was approved for public comment by cabinet last month. NT said the immediate focus is to provide funding for sanitary products through the expenditure side and not through a tax.

During today’s meeting, the MPWC also received a report by the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) on the establishment of gender quotas. This follows a meeting between the IEC and the forum that represents political parties represented in Parliament. The Committee was informed that during that engagement, political parties – although in favour of gender parity and the 50/50 quota system – felt it unnecessary to legislate the quota system. The MPWC then resolved to go back to their respective women’s caucuses to address the matter at that level first, as well as to ensure that a sub-committee on gender matters is introduce to pursue the matter further.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of South Africa: The Parliament.

Source: Republic of South Africa: The Parliament |

 

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