Minister upset at lack of women elected
CO-OPERATIVE Governance and Traditional Affairs Minister Zweli Mkhize has expressed disappointment that there were so few women elected to senior positions in local government.
“There are about 642 female councillors out of 1 840. I think we can do better than that. There are 16 female mayors and 38 males, 19 female speakers and 38 males.
He said women must rise against being undermined because of their gender, and fight to take over positions which are currently dominated by their male counterparts.
Mkhize was addressing about 300 KwaZulu-Natal female councillors and traditional leaders at their graduation ceremony held in Durban last night. They graduated after taking local government courses provided by Cogta in the province.
The ceremony was the prelude to a two-day Women in Leadership Dialogue to be addressed by Minister in the Presidency for the National Planning Commission, Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma.
“It is important to create a platform where women leaders are able to sit together and share their experiences,” Mkhize said, adding that the attitude against women should come to an end. He said women should fight against gender discrimination by obtaining the skills needed to be confident when they addressed people.
“There are differences between respecting and lack of self confidence. We must end lack of self confidence among women by teaching people that when they are led by a woman, they are led by a capable leader who possesses knowledge,” said Mkhize.
Cogta MEC Nomusa Dube-Ncube said women leaders had an important role to deliver health, education and job creation in their communities.
“As women leaders, we can play an important part in developing our communities. Since I have been a councillor for many years, I know that it is not easy to be a councillor, and worse to be a woman councillor,” Dube-Ncube said.