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IMPROVEMENT OF QUALITY OF
LIFE AND STATUS OF WOMEN JOINT MONITORING COMMITTEE
27 February 2002
POVERTY, VIOLENCE AND HIV/AIDS POLICY, LEGISLATION, INSTITUTION; IMPLEMENTATION OF PROGRAMME OF ACTION 2002
Chairperson: Ms P Govender (ANC)
â€œWe're doing their work for themâ€?: An Investigation into Government Support to Non-Profit Organisation Providing Services to Women Experiencing Gender Violence.
The Committee agreed on the entire programme of action with no reservations.
The Committee discussed the programme of action for 2002. The programme was seen as a way forward following a Committee report entitled â€œHow best can South Africa address the impact of HIV/AIDS on women and girlsâ€?, tabled at the last meeting in 2001.
Members put forward their opinions about the value and the status of a report in general and specifically the Report being discussed. It was finally agreed that a Report of this nature needed to be distributed to Provincial Legislatures and the Commission for Gender Equality for advocacy and feedback, and that there was a need for public education on HIV/AIDS and sexual violence. The proposal was rendered problematic by the limited funds for public education and lack of co-ordination between levels of government. It was resolved that Members had to find out the correct and relevant contacts to disseminate the report and one Member was asked to investigate whether it was ethical for Parliamentary Committees to seek private funding for projects.
The Chairperson stated that men needed to be involved in public education on HIV/AIDS and sexual violence. She suggested that such involvement could take the form of a symposium in Parliament. The suggestion was supported by Members and several male names to lead the event were put forward. It was not clear how the plan would be executed and then it was resolved that Members should take the matter to their study groups and come back with clear proposals in the next meeting. The Committee Whip was asked to co-ordinate this plan in conjunction with the Chairperson.
The Chairperson introduced the government's gender sensitive budget initiative of 1998 and asked the Committee to propose a plan parallel to the Report. It was proposed that the Sub Committee on Poverty should develop a questionnaire to investigate how government Departments were performing in that regard. The Committee agreed that the questionnaire should be ready before 20 March 2002 and that it would need to comment on the draft questionnaire before the final one was distributed. The Committee adopted the proposal.
The Chairperson proceeded by noting that there were three aspects regarding legislation that the Committee needed to commit itself to this year. The first one was the implementation of existing laws that protect the rights of women. The second was the amendment of such laws. The final one was tabling of new laws to protect the rights of women. It was proposed and agreed that the Law Commission and the Ministry of Justice would be invited to brief the Committee on the implementation and tabling of legislation that affect the rights of women. It was also agreed that because there were many issues that affected women there was a need to invite other Departments too, especially the Department of Home Affairs.
In order to execute the programme of action the Chairperson suggested that the Committee must link itself with other institutions such as the Commission for Gender Equality and the Office of the Status of Women. She also suggested that the Committee Task Team on Child Rape should try to work on existing work rather than re-inventing the wheel and to take suggestions from the Committee as it proceeded with its duty. Members agreed to the proposal.
Finally the Committee agreed to have a briefing on social security for women and to compile an annual report for last year.
The Chairperson said that the report distributed during the meeting; â€œWe're doing their work for themâ€?: An Investigation into Government Support to Non-Profit Organisation Providing Services to Women Experiencing Gender Violence, would be discussed and they would see how it would fit into the programme.
The meeting was adjourned.
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