Government Budget Must Benefit Women – Bathabile Dlamini

The Minister in the Presidency Responsible for Women, Bathabile Dlamini, says government institutions need to account before they get their budget and indicate how much they will allocate to benefit women.

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“We need to audit the work that has been done because it needs to resonate in all spheres of government. What is more important is that the work we do must find expression at a lower level in order to be able to measure its effectiveness and efficiency,” Dlamini said on Thursday at the Summit on Gender Responsive Planning, Budgeting, Monitoring and Evaluation and Auditing (GRPBMEA) in Boksburg.

Hosted by the Women Ministry, together with representatives of UN Women, National Treasury, Public Service and Administration, Performance Monitoring and Evaluation and the National Planning Commission, the two-day summit aims to examine the manner in which GRPB can contribute towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) and National Development Plan (NDP).

It also aims to obtain inputs and develop a common approach to GRPBMEA in South Africa across a wide range of stakeholders, including government, non-governmental organisations and civil society, and to develop a comprehensive and sustainable model for GRPBMEA.

Women and land

Dlamini said special focus must be placed on issues of land and women’s access to it.

“What have we done to prepare for women and access to land? It is women who work on the land. In other countries, where government decided to change legislation and [make land belong to traditional leaders], women were sidelined,” the Minister said.

She reminded government to think about women and the youth when doing their work, as many of are unemployed.

“When we do our work, we must always remember that we are trying to eradicate poverty. Without eradication of poverty, women will always be the face of poverty… They will not be able to take decisions that will make them human beings with human rights,” Dlamini said.

National Plan of Action

 Meanwhile, the Minister called for the implementation of the national plan of action to stop gender-based violence, saying the issue of domestic violence should have been attended to a long time ago.

“When a woman is raped or killed, we all asked the same questions: ‘what time was it; what was she wearing; what was she doing there? — as if women have no rights or have curfew in South Africa.

“Instead of preparing a space for [women], ensuring that it is conducive and that everyone understands that women are human beings and have a right to choose and decide about their bodies, we end up becoming part of the confusion?”

UN Resident Coordinator in South Africa, Dr Nardos Bekele Thomas, commended government for prioritising action against gender-based Violence with a full commitment to allocate the corresponding budget and other resources to achieve this.

As the country marks 16 Days of Activism for No Violence against Women and Children, Thomas urged citizens to remember all those who are in need of help, saying it ties in with the #HearMeToo theme.

“It rehashes the hashtag movements that have succeeded in bringing the issue of GBV under the spotlight,” said Thomas.

Working towards gender equality

Thomas challenged delegates to put their heads together and try to find the money in existing budgets and compliment it with new money for the sole reason of accelerating the realisation of gender equality by 2030.

“It cannot be done in one sector, it cannot be done by one Minister… It has to be done at all levels. If we are ever going to accelerate institutional transformation to eliminate structural inequality between women and men, we have to target mainstream budgeting and resource deployment processes,” Thomas said.

Source: allafrica.com

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