Discussion on matters relating to Women’s Month; Third Term Programme

Multi-Party Women’s Caucus

30 July 2020
Chairperson: Ms K Bilankulu (ANC)
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Meeting Summary

Video: Discussion on matters relating to Women’s Month; Third Term Programme
Audio: Discussion on matters relating to Women’s Month; Third Term Programme

The Multi-Party Women’s Caucus met to consider its third term programme and discuss matters related to Women’s Month. Members voiced concerns about the absence of senior Members.

There were no objections to the draft third term programme that was presented. The Caucus decided to have Members submit suggestions for observing Women’s Month to the project team, which would consolidate the suggestions with the secretariat.

Meeting report

The Chairperson asked Members to observe a moment of silence for those who had been affected by or lost their life to COVID-19, as well as the late ambassador to Denmark, Ms Zindzi Mandela, and Rivonia trialist, Mr Andrew Mlangeni. She accepted the apologies of several Members, but noted that absent Members should not raise issues discussed at the meeting at other times. This matter needed to be raised with the Chief Whip. She presented the meeting agenda for consideration.

Ms N Ntobongwana (ANC) moved to adopt the agenda.

Dr C Pilane-Majake (ANC) supported the adoption of the agenda.

Ms W Ngwenya (ANC, Gauteng) also supported the adoption of the agenda but observed that the meeting had not been well planned. The Chairperson was not visible on the video feed and Members did not have the document in front of them.

Ms M Hlengwa (ANC) noted with concern that many senior Members were not present at the meeting. She asked the Chairperson to plead with them to attend so that Members could share their ideas with those who were at the forefront.

The Chairperson replied that she did not have the power to force any Member to attend but that she could raise the matter with the Chief Whip, as this was not the first time this matter had come up.

Consideration of the third term programme
The Chairperson went through the proposed programme of the meeting of the Multi-Party Women’s Caucus (MPWC) Steering Committee on 19 August 2020.

Committee secretary, Ms Mandy Balie, took over after the Chairperson’s connection dropped.

Members were also taken through the proposed programme for the meetings of the MPWC on 27 August 2020 and the Steering Committee on 2 September, noting that the dates were subject to change.

The Chairperson asked if Members were satisfied with the programme.

Ms M Gomba (ANC) moved for adoption of the programme.

Ms Ngwenya supported the movement for adoption.

Discussion on matters relating to Women’s Month
The Chairperson explained that she wanted to discuss how the MPWC wanted to observe Women’s Month. It did not have to be a meeting. Perhaps Members could do something in their constituencies. Did Members have any ideas?

Ms S Lucas (NCOP Deputy Chairperson) suggested that the Committee secretariat work with the project team and consider Members’ suggestions. She had some ideas for the Women’s Parliament. Some consultations on the resolutions of the 2019 Women’s Parliament had already taken place.

Ms Z Nkomo (ANC) supported Ms Lucas’ suggestion. It would be helpful to consolidate Members’ suggestions. She called for a date to be set to consider these suggestions specifically.

Ms N Maseko-Jele (ANC) supported Ms Lucas and Ms Nkomo.

Ms J Mananiso (ANC) also supported the idea. She said that the MPWC needed to release something about men standing up and being at the forefront during Women’s Month. A strong message that enough was enough needed to be sent, and men needed to come forward and apologise.

Ms Lucas said that the Deputy Speaker’s office had been working with the men’s forum and the Deputy Minister of Social Development, and several programmes had been developed.

The Chairperson agreed with Ms Nkomo. It would be important to set a date as it was very possible that there would be timetable clashes resulting in low attendance at the MPWC.

Ms Lucas noted that the MPWC programme had been incorporated into the parliamentary programme.

Ms Nkomo suggested that the MPWC use Zoom instead of Microsoft Teams for future meetings because of the numerous technical issues that had arisen.

Several Members supported this suggestion.

The Chairperson agreed that Zoom would be preferable. She thanked Members for their contributions, asked them to continue wearing masks, maintaining good hygiene and observing social distancing, and encouraging these practices in their communities.

The meeting was adjourned.



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