The Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities (DWCPD) has published the Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Draft Bill for public comment.
The objectives of the Bill are to: ensure the equal participation of women in social, political and economic structures of society by providing for women empowerment and gender mainstreaming in the public sector, private sector and civil society; and eliminate detrimental cultural, economic, religious, social and traditional practices against women. The Act applies to both public and private bodies.
The Act obliges all affected bodies to take measures to empower women, including the mainstreaming of gender in all strategies, policies, programmes and budgets. In addition, bodies must take measures to ensure women’s economic empowerment and their equal representation and participation.
The Bill creates a new offence of wilfully and unlawfully participating in, or perpetuating, a practice of male or female dominance over women which infringes, or is likely to infringe the fundamental rights of women, or have a substantial adverse effect on their well-being.
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