MS B P MABE: Hon Tau, you are right - except for their leader, hon Helen Zille, the madam.
The main aim of the Bill is to give effect to section 9 of the Constitution in so far as the empowerment of women and gender equality is concerned. The Bill further seeks to establish a legislative framework for the empowerment of women and to align all aspects of laws and the implementation of laws relating to women empowerment.
The Bill also seeks to align aspects of law and the implementation of laws relating to the appointment and representation of women in decision-making positions and structures.
The Bill requires of the public and private bodies, designated by the Minister, to facilitate the development and implementation of plans and strategies for the promotion of women empowerment and gender equality. It further requires that the designated bodies submit their plans and strategies to the Minister for consideration, evaluation and guidance. This places the responsibility of training and empowering women on the shoulders of both the government and the private sector. Business must take responsibility.
South Africa is indeed a better place to live in than it was before 1994. We are proud to tell the good story of women empowerment in the 20 years of our democratic government. As we celebrate our second decade in government, we are proud to say that we have opened doors for women and we have recognised the role and value of women because they constitute the majority in our society. Women in South Africa sing a song that says:
Ayadum' amakhosikazi, Azongena ePhalamende.
I want to task the composers of this song to rewrite it and add the good story of women empowerment and development, and say:
Ayadum' amakhosikazi, Ayongena emkhakheni wezomnotho Ayongena emabhizinisini" Ayongena emabhodini Ayongena emkhakheni wezamajaji Ayongena kuhulumeni.
Fifty-fifty, no compromise! We are fighting for our space.
While the Bill reminds us that the struggle for women's economic empowerment is not yet over, it puts paid, once and for all, to the myth that a woman's place is in the kitchen. The ANC-led government says a boardroom is as much a woman's place as any other space in South Africa.
We are saying that with the strength we receive from God and the commitment of the ANC, nothing is impossible and nothing will stop us. I say forward with 50% representation and I therefore move that this House adopts the Bill. Thank you, Chair. [Applause.]
Declarations of vote: