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JOINT MONITORING COMMITTEE ON IMPROVEMENT OF QUALITY OF THE LIFE AND STATUS OF WOMEN
26 February 2003
OFFICE ON STATUS OF WOMEN DRAFT PAPER: DELIBERATIONS; COMMITTEE PROGRAMME; ANNUAL REPORT
Chairperson: Ms L Xingwana (ANC) Deputy Chairperson: Mrs Priscilla Themba (ANC)
Documents handed out:
Office on Status of Women Draft Report to United Nations Commission on Status of Women
Draft Protocol to African Charter on Human and People's Rights on Rights of Women in Africa
Committee Programme 2003
Committee Annual Report 2002
The Committee's programme for 2003 as well as the Annual Report of 2002 was adopted.
Members were meant to be briefed on a country report which would be presented on behalf of South Africa by the Office of the Status of Women to the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations, New York. However, the representative of the OSW was not present. The morning session was therefore adjourned to decide how the Committee was going to deal with her absence. Members questioned the authority of a report that had not been approved by the Committee. In the afternoon session Members decided to write a letter to the Minister in the Office of the President expressing dissatisfaction with the way the Committee was treated.
Draft paper to the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations
Ms S Nkomo: Office of the Status of Women, scheduled to brief Members on the country report she was meant to present to the Commission on the Status of Women at the United Nations, was absent from the meeting. Members expressed their disapproval at Ms Nkomo's lack of commitment. Ms Nkomo's had stated that she was too tired to drive herself to the airport and could not find someone to drive her to the airport.
Ms N B Sono (DP) made it clear that it was vital for the Committee to see the report before it was presented to the UN.
Mrs M Semple (DP) pointed out that this incident with OSW reflected badly on women and suggested that Ms Nkomo be reprimanded.
It was suggested that Members avail themselves to look at the report as soon as the Chair obtained a copy, which Ms Nkomo undertook to fax as soon as she got to the office.
The Chair stated that Ms Nkomo had sufficient time to submit the report and that she had agreed at a previous Committee meeting on 12 February to have the report ready for this meeting. Members made it clear that Ms Nkomo was under a constitutional obligation to attend a meeting when she was called upon to do so.
Ms Semple questioned the authority of a report that had not been approved by the committee.
All Members agreed that it be requested that Ms Nkomo not lead the delegation to New York as she was not present and therefore could not report to the Committee on what she was going to present to the United Nations.
The meeting was adjourned until late afternoon when the Committee had decided on how to deal with Ms Nkomo.
Afternoon Session Minutes: [This report adapted from Minutes by Committee Secretary, Ms S Pauw]
Members reconvened in the afternoon. Ms Xingwana stated that the Director General in the Office of the Status of Women had been in a Cabinet meeting so could not be contacted. She presented draft copies that would make up the South African report to the Commission on the Status of Women obtained during the course of the day.
Ms Nkomo had been invited to the afternoon Committee meeting after the Budget Speech. However, she declined.
The Chairperson stated that she would write a letter to the Minister in the Office of the President on behalf of the Committee informing him of the sequence of events.
Ms Maine (ANC) said that the Committee should send a delegation to the UN Commission on the Status of Women as had been planned.
The Chair suggested that the Committee assist with drafting the country's report by requesting the research section of Parliament to extract recommendations of debated reports of the Committee and official reports of other Parliamentary Committees to contribute to the South African report, and that the document be handed to the Minister in the Office of the President.
The Committee agreed.
Ms S N Ntlabati (ANC) asked the Committee to request clarification on leadership of the delegation to the United Nations.
Mrs J Semple stated that the Committee seek clarification on the composition of the South African delegation to the United Nations.
Ms P Tshwete (ANC) said that the Committee, in its letter to the Minister in the Office of the President, should express dissatisfaction with the way the Committee was treated.
The Chairperson said that the Chairperson and the Deputy Chairperson would meet the Minister in the Office of the President to raise concerns about the leadership under which the South African delegation would attend the Commission on the Status of Women in the UN and also the composition of the South African delegation.
The Committee Programme for 2003
The Chair noted that dates could possibly be changed.
Ms Ntlabati (ANC) suggested that the "Strengthening of National Gender Machinery" be changed to "Strengthening of National and Provincial Gender Machinery".
All members agreed and programme was adopted.
The Committee Annual Report 2002
The report was unanimously adopted.
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