Release Date: 12 August 2019
To: Editors, Producers and Reporters
The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) has noted with keen interest Minister in the Presidency, Honourable Jackson Mthembu’s utterances that the National Development Plan (NDP) is gender blind. The Commission analysed the NDP in 2013 and found that the document failed to recognise gender imbalances and women’s vulnerabilities in relation to gender based violence, land, poverty, women in rural areas, access of water and electricity, access to justice and appropriate health care, etc. The CGE study also found that gender disaggregated data was not used and questions about women’s realities were not asked and this was due to the lack of consultation with the Commission and this is also evident in the absence of a human rights discourse in the analysis and planning presented in the NDP.
The Commission used its legislated mandated as enjoined by the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa to review state policies and practices from gender perspective, to ensure gender responsive policy making. It is against this backdrop that the Commission identified glaring gaps that fell short of addressing gender elements within the NDP. In a nutshell, the Commission based on its study can conclude the Mr. Mthembu was not off the mark and that the NDP is not genderised.
The CGE will be writing a formal letter to Minister Mthembu seeking an audience with him in his capacity as the Chairperson of the National Planning Commission (NPC). The meeting will be for two reasons. First to share with Minister
Mthembu the Commission’s study on its analysis of NDP. The second that during the NDP Review process in October 2019, the CGE would be available to offer expertise in ensuring that the document is genderised.
The CGE believes unless the NDP is a gender sensitized document, it will not achieve its intended objectives. Minister Mthembu also spoke of indicators to assist in ensuring that the NDP is a gender sensitive document when the review takes place. The CGE believes it can offer invaluable inputs emanating from its gender analysis of the NDP Vision 2030 report.
The CGE also call for the seven priority areas as outlined by His Excellency President Ramaphosa during the State of the Nation Address (SONA) to be gender sensitive.
The CGE is of the view that the continual exclusion of women who make 52% of the South African population from an analysis aimed at eradicating poverty, creating jobs, sustainable livelihoods and social cohesion, the status quo of marginalized women will continue. It is for this reason that the CGE welcomes Minister Mthembu’s statement on the NDP being gender blind and wanting to offer its expertise to remedy the situation as an institution with the vast knowledge in the area and having done some analysis of the NDP