The decision to undertake a nationwide Women’s Charter review process was taken during the Women’s Parliament held in August 2019, to cover all nine provinces over the next 12 months. The provincial review sessions will take stock of progress made in implementing the articles of the Women’s Charter since the advent of freedom and democracy, assess the impact thereof, evaluate the current women’s rights regime in its entirety, and make concrete policy, legislative and implementation proposals to close gaps, accelerate positive areas of change and introduce new interventions to place the gender transformation programme on a higher development during the next 25 years. Areas to be covered also include the National Gender Machinery, legislative oversight, and all mechanism aimed at fighting violence against women and girls - a scourge that is worsening in South Africa.
Furthermore, the intensive consultation process will culminate in the adoption of an improved policy and legislative oversight mechanisms, and interventions to remove all structural, institutional and cultural barriers to the realisation of gender equality in South Africa.
The women’s charter was adopted in 1954 and it played significant role in setting the tone for today's democratic order. The charter was reviewed in 1994 under the Women's National Coalition, which adopted the Women's Charter for Effective Equality.
Both the 1954 and 1994 Women's Charters called for a society where women are free from discrimination and prejudice. They called for a society which respects women and enforces their rights and inherent human dignity.
The theme for the provincial roadshow programme is “Twenty-Five Year Review of the Women’s Charter for Effective Equality”, and focuses the attention if all partners and rile-players on, among other things:
- law and the administration of justice;
- Education and Training;
- Development, Infrastructure and Environment; as well as
- Social Services