Of all the parliamentary committees I have visited, the most informative has been the Portfolio Committee on Women, Children and People with Disabilities. Due to my studies in Development and Gender, attending this Committee has extended my knowledge and I have witnessed the reality of how policies can either produce development or curb it. I appreciate the work ethic of the Members in this Committee. Regardless of the bad reputation associated with the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities, the Chairperson, Ms Dorothy Ramodibe, stated that women in South Africa had fought hard to be represented politically and so having a Department that was “struggling”, simply meant Members needed to realise their work was not done. Further mobilisation of women was needed for their voices to be heard. Seeing that the Committee did not shy from displaying its passion, and acknowledge areas of weakness impressed me. It showed that change was slow, but possible. Women in South Africa are resilient and the Members representing the Women, Children and People with Disabilities Committee, in my opinion, represent that resilience very well.
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