ATC190319: Report of the Multi- Party Women’s Caucus on its activities undertaken during the 5th Parliament (May 2014 – March 2019)

Multi-Party Women’s Caucus


Report of the Multi- Party Women’s Caucus on its activities undertaken during the 5th Parliament (May 2014 – March 2019)


Key highlights


  1. Reflection on committee programme per year and on whether the objectives of such programmes were achieved

The MPWC started at the beginning of the term by hosting a strategic session, thus adopted a business plan to guide its activities. The MPWC was also mandated by various Women’s parliament resolutions on which activities to pursue. The MPWC did not have any oversight function over the Execute, only achieved its objectives through social activism. The Caucus agreed to focus on few objectives in order to ensure success and completion of projects undertaken. The initial challenge that the MPWC was seized with was programming of meetings, but subsequent to engagements the MPWC was able to secure one Thursday a month as a minimum standard for agreed meeting dates. This provided a secure slot for meetings of the MPWC and Members were alerted to meetings well in advance (beginning of each term). The MPWC managed to achieve continuous progress in attaining its chosen objectives throughout the years at different stages. The MPWC has managed to reach great milestones and positive strides towards achievement of these objectives.


  1. Committee’s focus areas during the 5th Parliament

The main focus for the MPWC was to lobby, influence, and advocate for the emancipation of all women in South Africa by challenging barriers and stereotypes that hinder equitable participation of women in all aspects of their lives. The Fifth MPWC was committed in moving the gender equality agenda forward while uniting all women across racial and political lines for a common cause. The main areas of focus were:

  • Advocating for women’s socio- economic empowerment, which included lobbying and advocating for removal of VAT from sanitary products and free provision of sanitary products to the poor and indigent women and girls.
  • Lobbying for legislative reform from a gender perspective including the issue of sex work, with the MPWC advocating for decriminalisation of sex work.
  • Lobbying and advocating for a legislated increase in number of women participating and represented in politics.
  • Re- introduction and continuous monitoring of gender responsive budgeting.
  • Review and strengthening of national gender machinery.
  • Building and/or strengthening relations with critical stakeholders, which include Provinces, municipalities and relevant non-governmental organisations.
  • Advocating for the fight against the scourge of gender based violence.


  1. Key areas for future work
  •  Focus on increasing the number of women represented in decision-making positions, including advocating for legislation on gender quotas.
  • Pursue the matter of provision of free sanitary products to indigent women and girls.
  • To continue lobbying for decriminalisation of sex work, and host Imbizos with stakeholders on Adult Prostitution in response to the Report of the SALRC Report in all Provinces.
  • Women and health focussing on cancer and other sexual and reproductive health rights
  • Lobby for re- introduction of gender responsive budgeting.
  • Advocating for review and strengthening of national gender machinery.
  • Pursue a program that advocates for bringing to an end the scourge of Gender-based violence
  • Lobbying and advocating men as champions of gender equality by cascading the UN HeForShe Campaign to all political parties represented in Parliament.
  • Advocate for a gender sensitive Parliament.
  • Monitor implementation of resolutions of the 2018 Women’s Conference.
  • Encourage Provincial legislatures and municipal councils to establish women’ caucuses.
  • Ensure implementation of the GBV and femicide summit resolutions by hosting a workshop on the declarations in order to ascertain progress.


  1. Key challenges emerging


  • Women’s Parliament/Conferences – not planned in time, with sufficient consultation with Members of Parliament regarding the strategic direction of the events.
  • Non- attendance of MPWC sessions by majority of women Parliamentarians, including the Deputy Chairperson of the MPWC
  • Differing political ideologies.


  1. Recommendations


  •  The Steering Committee responsible for planning the Women’s Parliament events to include the Chairpersons for both the MPWC and Portfolio Committee on women. The chairperson’s involvement to start during the initiation phase of each project and at a strategic level to ensure consideration of their views and suggestions.
  • The sixth Parliament MPWC to dedicate time and effort to make MPWC attractive to Members in order to ensure regular attendance.



  1. Introduction


The fifth Parliament MPWC established in terms of Joint Rule 137 consisted of all women members of the National Assembly and the permanent delegates of the National Council of Provinces. The MPWC directed by a steering Committee in terms of JR137J and led by chairperson elected from the majority party and deputy chairperson elected amongst minority parties.



  1. Department/s and Entities falling within the committee’s portfolio


The Multi-Party Women’s Caucus had no oversight function over any Department and/or entity. It was established to be an advisory and influencing body to promote the discussion of women issues in Parliament. The core mandate of the fifth Parliament MPWC was to lobby and advocate for emancipation of women by engaging any relevant Department, entity and civil society organisations including making representations to Portfolio and Select Committees in Parliament.


  1. Functions of committee:


The MPWC as a platform for all women members of the National Assembly and the permanent delegates of the National Council of Provinces, was mandated by Joint Rule 137K to act as an advisory, influencing and consultative body with the following functions and powers:

  • Representing the interests and concerns of women members of Parliament
  • Promoting discussion of women issues in Parliament
  • Making submissions to portfolio and select committees charged with oversight of women’s issues either at the request of those committees or at its own initiative
  • Introduction of women’s perspective and focus in parliamentary activities including the programming of debates.
  • Engagement on development and empowerment issues with women in political structures outside Parliament and women members of Parliaments internationally
  • Consideration of any matter within the MPWC referred to it by either House






  1. Method of work of the committee (if committee adopted a particular method of work e.g. SCOPA.)


The MPWC adopted a business plan, as a guide towards the achievement of the mandate of the MPWC as prescribed in Joint Rule 137.  The MPWC resolved to be a social activism based structure that actively lobbied and advocated for emancipation of women inside and outside Parliament. The MPWC also actively established and strengthened relations with civil society organisations in pursuit of its mandate. The MPWC also resolved to ensure implementation of resolutions undertaken during women s ‘Parliament sessions.


  1. Purpose of the report


The purpose of this report is to provide an account of the Multi- Party Women’s Caucus work during the 5th Parliament and to inform the members of the new Parliament of key outstanding issues pertaining to the emancipation of women inside and outside Parliament.


This report provides an overview of the activities the committee undertook during the 5th Parliament, the outcome of key activities, as well as any challenges that emerged during the period under review and issues that should be considered for follow up during the 6th Parliament.



  1. Key statistics


The table below provides an overview of the number of meetings held, legislation and international agreements processed and the number of oversight trips and study tours undertaken by the committee, as well as any statutory appointments the committee made, during the 5th Parliament:









Meetings held







Legislation processed







Oversight trips undertaken







Study tours undertaken







International agreements processed







Statutory appointments made







Interventions considered







Petitions considered









  1. Stakeholders:


The critical stakeholders for the 5th Parliament MPWC were the various Governmental departments; Provincial Legislatures; Municipal Councils; civil society organisations; non- governmental organisations and research institutions and women formations.



  1. Briefings and/or public hearings


  1. Multi Party Women’s Caucus Strategic Business Planning Workshop held in Parliament on the 22 and 23 September 2014
  2. Workshop with the Provincial Multi-Party Women’s Caucuses on the Post 2015 SADC Protocol on Gender Equality, held in Parliament on the 12 June 2015
  3. Multi-Party Women’s Caucus Oversight to Mpumalanga Province from 26 – 31 March 2017
  4. Summit with Stakeholders on responses to the Report of the SALRC Project 107 Sexual Offences Adult Prostitution (In furtherance of the Roundtable Resolution on the decriminalisation of Sex work)
  5. Co- hosted the International women’s conference in 2017
  6. Hosted a workshop for Provincial multi- party women’s caucuses and CWP chapters in August 2017  on the role of women’s caucuses in changing the world of work for women


  1. Legislation – N/A (The Caucus does not process legislation


The MPWC did not process any legislation but was vigilant to ensure visibility of women’s voices in public participation initiatives.

The issue of the Traditional Courts Bill did arise as an issue of concern for the MPWC. The MPWC expressed concerns regarding the impact of the Bill on the rights of women, particularly in rural areas. The MPWC expressed a view that Women Parliamentarians should vigorously monitor all Bills before Parliament and fight for the rights of women.


  1. Oversight trips undertaken


The following oversight trips were undertaken:



Area Visited



Responses to Recommendations

Follow-up Issues

Status of Report

24-28 Nov 2014

The MPWC visited Gauteng province to meet CGE  and Gauteng MPWC





























Gauteng Provincial legislature MPWC




To assess the CGE’s programme of action and activities in the provincial offices.


To attend the launch of the 16 Days Campaign of no violence against women and children.


To assess progress in relation to participation of women in government.


To assess the impact of the current legislative framework on women


















Foster relations between the National MPWC structure and the Gauteng MPWC.


To endorse a collaborative program of action for the respective Multi-Party Women’s Caucuses.

CGE to implement specific programme focussed on changing attitudes and negative stereotypes against women.


CGE to consider internal employees when filling the vacancy for supply chain management.


CGE to expedite addressing worker grievances especially within critical sections like finance.


CGE to review its funding model and advocate for additional funding by National Treasury


CGE to brief the MPWC about all its research reports to enable the MPWC to do follow ups with government Departments.





The meeting with Gauteng MPWC did not materialise









27-31 March 2017


To share and learn best practises with the Mpumalanga MPWC.



To visit women owned farms together with PC on Agriculture and learn about their challenges and successes.

Mpumalanga MPWC to engage Provincial Departments about women representation in senior level.

The Office of the Premier through the Office on Status of Women to play an active role to ensure adequate representation of women in senior positions.

Mpumalanga MPWC to lobby the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries to assist women with cooperatives, funding and land allocation for commercial farming.


Mpumalanga MPWC  to lobby for gender responsive  Provincial Departmental budgets


Mpumalanga MPWC to lobby and advocate for male MPLs and male councillors to be champions for gender equality, including adopting programmes focussing on ‘boy child’ when addressing gender violence.


Mpumalanga MPWC to launch the UN Heforshe Campaign


Mpumalanga MPWC to embark on a program for moral regeneration in order to change some of the societal norms that reinforce gender inequality.


The Multi-Party Women’s Caucus at a national level should convene a consultative meeting with all 9 Women’s Caucus’ from the Provincial Legislatures to deal with issues related to women in the country as well as the budgetary aspects of Women’s Caucus’.




















































A workshop was hosted by the national parliament MPWC in August 2017 for all Provincial MPWC and CWP chapters









  1. Challenges emerging


The following challenges emerged during the oversight visit:


No challenges emerged during this oversight visit


  1. Issues for follow-up


The 6th Parliament should consider following up on the following concerns that arose:


  • Constant engagements with Provincial Multi Party Women’s Caucuses on local issues affecting the lives of women to be intensified.
  • Prominent Bills which have the effect of limiting the rights of women should be monitored and Caucuses should make inputs on such Bills
  • Ownership of land by women especially for agricultural use



  1. Events Undertaken






Responses to Recommendations

Follow-up Issues

Status of Report

22 – 23 September


Business Planning Workshop

The workshop focused on how the MPWC would give effect to its mandate during the 2014/15 and subsequent financial years in pursuit of building an effective Multi-Party Women’s Caucus responsive to the needs of women Members of Parliament, and women generally. The expected outcomes were as follows:


•           To identify the priorities of the MPWC;

•           Develop a plan that responds to the needs of female Parliamentarians;

•           Guide the use of resources in furtherance of the Plan; and

•Develop tools that can serve as a basis for monitoring and evaluation of Departments and Entities by female Parliamentarians in their respective Portfolio Committees.


Furthermore, the purpose was to link the adopted business plan of the MPWC with the vision and mission of Parliament.

•The MPWC should champion  for a gender sensitive Parliament by engaging with the Speaker’s Office regarding identified challenges within Parliament

•The MPWC should focus on influencing Parliamentary Committees to be vigilant and ensure programmes implemented by Executive are gender responsive. The MPWC to devise strategies in this regard.

•The MPWC should be a forum where women Parliamentarians can come together and support each other across party political lines and race.

•The MPWC as a collective should be utilised as a powerful platform (e.g. to raise issues and make pronouncements) and a mechanism to put forward  positions on matters that extends beyond political party affiliation e.g. debates in the House, motions, statements, submission on Bills etc.

•The role clarification must be cascaded down to Provincial Legislatures.

•Noting the role of the MPWC to act as an advisory, influencing and consultative body by promoting the discussion of women issues in Parliament.

The MPWC to identify topical issue/s, which it will advocate for the benefit of women. One such area is the Campaign for “Land to Women”.

•Furthermore, the MPWC should revitalise its relations with Provincial women’s MPWC in order to cascade the program for the liberation of women to the Provincial Legislatures.

•The MPWC recommended that all women should champion for the change of mind-sets and society/communities must take responsibility and lead this fight.

•The perception of the MPWC being limited to only lobbying and advocacy to be changed.

•Members of MPWC should be role models for the girl-child and women at large.

•The MPWC should focus on addressing the decline in the representation of females in Parliament. The MPWC should be more assertive in ensuring compliance with the 50/50 standard by continuously engaging all political parties.

•Further to this, the MPWC should also lobby for legislative reform to cater for mandatory gender quotas. These legislative mechanisms should not only focus on the public sector but the private sector as well, while learning from regional and international best practises.




5 June 2015

Workshop with the Provinces Post 2015 and Targets of SADC Protocol on Gender Equality

In July 2015 the Southern African Development Community Parliamentary Forum was to host a meeting of the Regional Women’s Caucus, and part of the deliberations at the SADC-PF was to include discussions on the post 2015 SADC Protocol on Gender Equality. Countries were expected to report on engagements with stakeholders on the revised goals and targets. Specifically, the report to the SADC PF detailed the following:


1. Overview of any consultations with relevant stakeholder national, provincially and locally on the proposed frameworks, targets and indicators for the post-2015 SADC Gender Protocol discussions.

2. Any information on Parliament's collaboration with relevant institutions that track the implementation of the SADC Gender Protocol in the legislative sector specifically

3. Any work done in terms of human trafficking, domestic violence and the economic empowerment of women.


The purpose of the workshop was to consult Provinces in order to compile an elaborate and inclusive report of the RSA Multi Party Women’s Caucuses.

1). In the absence of legislated quotas MPWC need to advocate for adoption of voluntary gender quotas in political parties ahead of 2016 local government elections;

2).Continue to lobby for quotas in order to reach 50/50 in provinces and nationally, whether through reviewing existing legislation or initiating new policies; Quotas should not only relate to political decision making, but should apply to decision making at all levels of society;

3).Monitor existing gender equality legislation and look at resources – improve oversight to improve implementation and ensure that they have a positive impact on the lives of ordinary women

4).Need to focus on women of all races, across all sectors taking into consideration the heterogeneity of women.


5).To ensure effective public participation by engaging directly with women to ensure their interests are adequately represented, and further ensure adequate continuous engagement with civil society;

6).Ensure mainstreaming of women into the economy,  and ensure access to benefits made available by legislation aimed at ensuring equal participation;

7).Review gender responsive budgeting within departments to ensure adequate resources are directed towards gender equality;

8).Obligate departments and all agencies of government to provide gender disaggregated data for more evidence based policy making, and to ensure that programming for women begins to address their particular needs more accurately;

9).Encourage the mentoring of women in all sectors to take up positions of decision making including in the Judiciary, the private sector and in public sector institutions;

10).Ensure that programmes of government adequately address women’s particular reproductive health challenges including early screening for cervical cancer and the continued high HIV infection rate amongst women;

11).Continue to work to integrate the country’s approach to dealing with Gender Based Violence;

12).Continue to work to ensure that Legislatures are gender sensitive institutions that adequately deal with issues including sexual harassment, fair parental leave for both women and men, and adequate facilities to accommodate all Members of Parliament;

13).To put more emphasis on issues affecting persons with disabilities;

14).To harness and pursue indigenous knowledge.

15).To ensure the enforcement of legislation meant to protect the rights and interests of vulnerable groups including the LGBTI community;

16).To deal directly with patriarchy and its social, cultural and economic manifestations, and for both female and male Members of Parliament in their leadership capacity to promote and encourage gender parity;




01 – 02 September 2015

Women’s Roundtable Discussions

The objectives of the Roundtable Discussion were to:


•Explore the role of the Legislative Sector in ensuring that the objectives of the NDP relating to women are achieved;


•Deal with the challenges faced by women in relation to Parliament’s strategic priorities (strengthening oversight and accountability; enhancing public involvement; deepening engagement in international fora; strengthening co-operative government; and strengthening legislative capacity);


•Ensure that matters emanating from the plenary discussions are properly debated in the two Houses and processed through the relevant committees; and

•Ensure that the outcomes of the Roundtable Discussion are actioned within committees.


  • Parliament, through its committees, must develop effective oversight mechanisms for monitoring implementation by departments of programmes concerning gender based violence.
  • Parliament to ensure that the approach to gender based violence is inter-departmental and co-ordinated.


Gender responsive budgeting:

  • Parliament must ensure that government departments report on their budgets for programmes aimed at supporting victims;
  • Parliament must also ensure effective oversight over budgets related to GBV. 
  • Parliament must develop tools to ensure that all Committees are able to engage in gender responsive budgeting; and
  • Parliament must engage with National Treasury to ensure that budgets for GBV are ring-fenced.


Focus on education

  • Through the committees dealing with education, Parliament must ensure that there is additional support in the education system w.r.t. psychosocial support services to children that are victims of violence, peace education, and a focus on the socialisation of boy child.
  • Parliament must ensure provision of free sanitary products for all indigent women and girls. 


Review of legislation:

  • Parliament must explore how to address human rights violations such as that experienced by sex workers.


Public participation:

In terms of the objective of enhancing public participation, the following resolutions were adopted:

  • Parliament must create opportunities for public participation on budgeting for gender based violence; and
  • Members of Parliament must ensure that they are in close contact with their constituencies in terms of being informed of gender-based violence in their constituencies.


Implementation of resolutions taken by the roundtable :

  • To ensure discussions and debating of matters emanating from the plenary by both Houses and processed through relevant committees.




6 December 2016

 UN HeforShe Launch and sign up

Objective was to launch the campaign and to lobby male MPs to sign up as champions of gender equality.

Advocate Male MPs to champion the fight against gender discrimination and gender inequality.




15 June 2017

Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians Business Planning Workshop

The workshop aimed to achieve the following key strategic objectives:


1.1        To enhance the understanding of Members of Parliament on the role and work of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians Chapter in relation to the current role of the Multi-Party Women’s Caucus.

1.2        To develop a minimum program of action for the added role that the Caucus has acquired in terms of its CWP work.

1.3        To link the work of the Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians Chapter with the existing program/work of the Joint Multi Party Women’s Caucus.

1.4        To discuss issues affecting the representation of women in political decision-making positions in all spheres.

The meeting further made the following recommendations:


  1. The MPWC as the CWP chapter should maximize the participation of all female Members of Parliament in its activities by re-igniting the activisms in all the female politicians within Parliament.
  2. The MPWC as the CWP chapter should actively reposition itself as an active Committee of Parliament and broaden its scope in dealing with issues affecting women.
  3. The MPWC as the CWP chapter should be more visible around Parliament; and advocate male counterparts to be champions of gender equality.
  4. The MPWC as the CWP chapter to host events around Parliament on Cancer Awareness and other social events in order to sensitize Members including male counterparts about plight of women .
  5. The MPWC should engage with Political Parties to persuade them  about increasing the number of women represented and participating in decision making positions within political organizations
  6. The MPWC should host engagements about violence against women and children.
  7. The MPWC should interact with all Departments and Committees about adoption of gender responsive budgets.




29 – 30 August 2017

International Women’s Conference

Key objectives of the conference were:

•           To create a platform for the discussion of progress made on the continent in absorbing women into the economy and in creating working environments that are gender sensitive.

•           To discuss the challenges in relation to absorbing women into the economy and the factors that impede upon their career progress and ability to manage their gender roles in work environments.

•           To address the ways in which violence against women negatively affects women’s ability to be economically active.

The conference declaration committed Parliament to a number of things. These include:


  • Effectively oversee poverty alleviation strategies, including addressing the plight of women and girls in situations of extreme poverty.


  • Conduct oversight of the integration of government action for women’s economic empowerment into national sustainable development, poverty eradication and sectoral strategies, policies and action plans at all levels.


  • Encourage legislative reform that seeks to address structural barriers that constrain work and family responsibilities of women.


  • Oversee gender-responsive education policies and strategies at all levels, including ongoing, lifelong learning opportunities for women and girls.


  • Parliaments should adequately capacitate resource and support the work of Women’s Caucuses in order for the MPWC to be effective.


  • Accelerating reform and initiatives to address violence against women and its impact on the economic and social empowerment of women through vigorous oversight and ring fencing of budgets for programmes aimed at addressing violence against women.


  • Adopting sexual harassment policies that cover all aspects of sexual harassment, including harassment by Members of Parliament to members of staff. Parliaments should set the example of adopting a zero-tolerance approach to sexual harassment.


  • Commit to forming partnerships and engaging civil society and the private sector and ensuring their regular and meaningful participation in legislative and oversight processes.


  • Develop national action plans for oversight over programmes aimed at attainment economic empowerment of women.


  • To develop and adopt clear targets and benchmarks against which progress should be measured.


The Multi-Party Women’s Caucus at national and provincial levels should ensure that the conference resolutions are actioned.




01-02 November 2018

National summit against gender based violence and femicide

The summit was convened after a call by a total shutdown movement to the Government to craft strategies in order to deal with the scourge of violence against women and children including  the LGBTQI

The National MPWC to oversee implementation of declarations undertaken during the summit.


The National MPWC to escalate the declarations to the Provincial MPWC  and municipal councils for

Referred to the 6th Parliament for implementation







  1. Study tours undertaken


The MPWC did not undertake any study tours but hosted various women’s caucuses from outside the Country and used that opportunity to learn and share best practices. The Members of the MPWC when invited by out of Country agencies and organisations they would come back and empower the MPWC about what they learnt. The outside organisations, which the Members of the MPWC were part of included SADC, CPA and PAP. The MPWC delegates also attended the inaugural congress on international women’s parliamentary caucuses in Ireland and was part of the Dublin declaration adopted.



  1. International Agreements:


The MPWC did not have a mandate to deal with International agreements. The delegates of the MPWC attended the inaugural Congress on women’s caucuses in Ireland and a Dublin declaration was adopted to ensure establishment of women’s caucuses in all Parliaments by 2020. The SA MPWC resolved to assist with establishment of women’s caucuses in all Provincial legislatures and municipal councils. The Countries were requested to be willing to host on a rotational basis sessions to advance the vision of the Dublin declaration.





  1. Statutory appointments:

Not applicable


  1. Interventions:


Not applicable


  1. Petitions:

Not applicable



  1. Obligations conferred on committee by legislation:


There are no obligations conferred to the MPWC by legislation but the 5th Parliament MPWC had resolved to attempt and ensure implementation of resolutions taken during Women’s Parliaments sessions hosted by Parliament.



  1. Summary of outstanding issues relating to the department/entities that the committee has been grappling with


The following key issues are outstanding from the committee’s activities during the 5th Parliament:




National Treasury and Ministry of Women

Gender Responsive Budgeting – The Caucus expressed a need for NT to ensure that all approved budgets are gender responsive and the Ministry of Women to develop a gender responsive budgeting framework to be utilised by all Departments

Ministry of Women and IEC

Introduction of mandatory gender quotas

Ministry of Women

Review and strengthening of national gender machinery

National Parliament MPWC

Establishment of women’s caucuses in Provincial legislatures and municipal councils

National Parliament MPWC

Legal reform in relation to sex work



  1. Other matters referred by the Speaker/Chairperson (including recommendations of the High Level Panel)


The following other matters were referred to the committee and the resultant report was produced:


Date of referral

Expected report date

Content of referral

Status of Report

30 October 2018

Not stated

The Assembly calls for the development, adoption and implementation by the Multi-Party Women’s Caucus of a comprehensive education and support programme for all women, including those in the rural hinterland

Caucus is deliberating on a draft document on the comprehensive education and support program






  1. Challenges emerging


The following challenges emerged during the processing of the referral:



  1. Issues for follow-up


The 6th Parliament should consider following up on the following concerns that arose:


  • The MPWC to adopt a concept aimed at putting on the spotlight religious and cultural practises that are harmful to women and to implement an empowerment programme aimed at reviving moral regeneration and economic empowerment of women.



  1. Recommendations


  • Dedicated time slot for the activities of the MPWC at least twice a month to ensure success in completion of projects undertaken.






  1. Committee strategic plan


  1. Introduction

The South African National Parliament Multi- Party Women’s Caucus (MPWC) was re-established at the beginning of the Fifth Parliament. It was a platform for women Parliamentarians to champion gender equality and women’s issues in and outside of Parliament, across party political lines. It was comprised of all women Members of Parliament from both the NCOP and NA houses. The MPWC also launched as a Commonwealth Women Parliamentarian (CWP) Chapter.

  1. Establishment of the MPWC

The MPWC was established in terms of Joint Rule 137(G) led by a Chairperson elected from the majority party and a Deputy Chairperson from opposition parties. The entire multi- party women’s caucus was directed by a steering committee comprised of the Chairperson, the Deputy Chairperson and other five members elected by the Caucus.

  1. Vision of the MPWC

The fifth South African National Parliament MPWC envisaged a society where women are able to enjoy the gains brought about by the democracy in the Country. The MPWC’s adopted vision is about the emancipation and liberation of women in South Africa.

  1. Mission of the MPWC

The mission adopted by the MPWC  was to lobby, influence, and advocate for the emancipation of all women in South Africa by challenging barriers and stereotypes that hinder equitable participation of women in all aspects of their lives. The MPWC was committed in moving the gender equality agenda forward while uniting all women across racial and political lines for a common cause.

  1. Mandate of the MPWC

The MPWC was empowered by Joint Rule 137K to act as an advisory, influencing and consultative body by:

  • Representing the interests and concerns of women members of Parliament
  • Promoting the discussion of women issues in Parliament.
  • Making submissions to Parliamentary committees charged with oversight of women’s issues.
  • Introducing women’s perspectives and focus in Parliamentary activities.
  • Engaging on women’s developmental and empowerment issues with political structures outside Parliament and with international women Parliamentarians.
  • To report annually to both Houses on its activities.


  1. Resources

In order for the South African National Parliament MPWC to be able to execute its mandate and functions, the issue of resources was vital. The MPWC was supported by a:

  • A committee secretary
  • A researcher,
  • A content advisor

The MPWC had a dedicated time slot to meet and conduct its activities once a month on a Thursday, but the steering committee met regularly to plan.


  1. Decisions of the MPWC

The MPWC was able to decide on any matter if there was an agreement among majority members present if at least 15 members were present.



  1. Activities of the MPWC

The MPWC in order to itemise its mandate held a strategic planning workshop and adopted a business plan. The business plan served as a guide and a measuring stick to monitor and evaluate the activities of the MPWC.  The South African National Parliament MPWC also launched as Commonwealth Women Parliamentarian (CWP) Chapter. The following were the strategic focus areas that South African National Parliament MPWC decided upon:

  • Advocating for women’s socio- economic issues
  • Gender based violence
  • Increased participation and representation of women in politics
  • Law reform from a gender perspective
  • Building Alliances with other critical stakeholders
  • Women and health
  • Re- introduction of gender responsive budget
  • Strengthening of national gender machinery


  1. Conclusion

The fifth Parliament MPWC agreed as follows:

  • To be a support structure for women in Parliament  and to ensure a legislative environment sensitive to the needs of women members in Parliament in terms of infrastructure, programming, activities and culture.
  • To advocate for adequate resources in terms of supporting staff, budget allocation as well as dedicated time slot for its activities. 
  • To be a social activism structure that is not only visibly during women’s month but also throughout the year.
  • To unite across party lines to promote gender equality.
  • To advocate males as champions of gender equality.



  1. Master attendance list



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