OUTA joins 44 organisations calling for improved public participation in Gender Equality Commission appointments

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08/09/2022 08:24:41

Illustration: OUTA

OUTA joins 44 organisations calling for improved public participation in Gender Equality Commission appointments 

A total of 45 organisations – including OUTA – and 17 individuals have written to Parliament objecting to the limited public participation process on the appointment of new commissioners to the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE).

The letter went to the Portfolio Committee on Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities.

The organisations intend to participate in the process by commenting on the candidates. However, we regard the process as inadequate because the comment period is only 10 days, the information provided on the candidates is inadequate, and the form to be used severely limits comment.

The organisations call for extended comment period, publication of the candidates' resumes and no limit on comment length.

“In the current South African context gender-based violence wreaks unabated destruction; women continue to bear the brunt of inequality, poverty, and unemployment (where women are employed, they continue to earn on average 30% less that what men earn for work of equal value); and hate crime, hate speech, and discrimination against LGBTIQ+ communities goes unchecked, often with deadly consequences. It cannot be disputed that the mandate of the CGE and the experience, expertise, and temperament of its commissioners is ever more important,” say the organisations in the letter.

“It is also no secret that the CGE has lately been mired in scandal, has failed to carry out its mandate diligently and impactfully, and is plagued by governance woes, accusations of in-fighting and bullying, and disturbingly high staff turnover.”

The letter is here.