Joint partnership looks at a favourable environment for marginalised groups

The aim of the session was to create partnerships, exchange knowledge through ideas and debate, discuss collaborations by building synergistic relationships and to share an understanding of what either committee aims to achieve for their respective municipalities within the current term of office.

“With the separation of powers governance model gaining momentum, standing committees such as GEYODI play a functional role in extracting the complex gender dynamics that exist in our institution,” said Sphelele Nxele, spokesperson Office of the Speaker.

“An issue that remains a highlight in these discussions is how to achieve adequate representation of previously marginalised groups such as women, youth, children and person with disabilities and to create a favourable environment for these groups to thrive.

“Such committees are strategically able drive content-driven programmes that aim to represent and empower communities. They also have the mandate to carry the voice of this diverse constituency so that it is proportionately represented.”

He said women and youth are the majority in the regional and national population and should be adequately represented in structures of leadership and governance, in the workplace and in community committees and structures.

“The GEYODI Standing Committee is being shaped to be an overseer in all departments in terms of the upliftment and promotion of rights of women, children, youth and people with disabilities.”

In her opening remarks, the Chairperson of Chairpersons, Meisie Mabuza echoed strong sentiments about the need to develop a strategy that intensifies gender issues into mainstream dialogue.

“As elected leaders we must pay special attention to the needs of women and youth in the mainframe. This will enable us to achieve our objectives in a multi-faceted environment.

“The legislature has programmes currently championed by the Office of the Speaker which include junior council, an annual gender dialogue conference and a programme that honours the best matric pupil in Ekurhuleni at the beginning of every year, to name a few.

“We are fast-tracking our priority targets, which include playing oversight in gender audit committees to ensure women and youth are represented and rolling out programmes which are inclusive and draw from development goals forged by institutions such as UN Women,” said Mabuza.

“GEYODI moves from a premise that recognises the need for resourceful oversight in building capacity, fostering a culture of safety and security and driving social change through gender sensitive development programmes in communities.”

Ntombikayise Sibeko

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