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					WOMEN’S
PARLIAMENT
ISSUE 1 | 19 AUGUST 2008
                              NEWS




    Women’s Parliament 2008
    Welcoming Note         The Gala Dinner   Stately Exhibition of Heroines
                                   ThE hOuSES Of ParliaMENT




National Assembly                                                     National Council of Provinces


       National Assembly - NA                                         National Council of
       The National Assembly (NA) consists of 400 members             Provinces - NCOP
       elected in accordance with a system of proportional
       representation, i.e. if a party garnered 40% of the votes      The National Council of Provinces (NCOP) came into being
       in a general election, it is entitled to take up 40% of the    with the adoption of the Constitution of the Republic of
       seats in the National Assembly.                                South Africa, 1996.
                                                                      The role of the NCOP is stated clearly in section 42(4)
       The Constitution provides for a Speaker and Deputy             of the Constitution: “The National Council of Provinces
       Speaker. The duties of a Speaker, as the principal             represents the provinces to ensure that provincial
       office-bearer in the Assembly, fall broadly into three         interests are taken into account in the national sphere of
       categories:                                                    government. It does this mainly by participating in the
       • Presiding over sittings of the Assembly, maintaining         national legislative process and by providing a national
            order, and applying and interpreting its rules,           forum for public consideration of issues affecting the
            conventions, practices and precedents (these duties       provinces.” Because delegations vote according to the
            are shared with the other presiding officers).            mandate of their provincial legislature, the legislative
       • Acting as a representative of, and spokesperson for,         process in the National Council of Provinces must allow an
            the Assembly and (with the Chairperson of the             opportunity for provinces to discuss matters and formulate
            NCOP) for Parliament in the outside world.                positions. At the same time, provinces, through their
       • In conjunction with the Chairperson of the NCOP,             delegations, need an opportunity to discuss matters with
            acting as chief executive officer for Parliament.         each other. To allow proper consultation and discussion
       The Constitution also strengthened public participation        both within provincial legislatures and among provinces,
       in the work of the National Assembly by making                 the National Council of Provinces operates on a six-
       public sittings and meetings the norm. Members of              week cycle. In each cycle specific times are set aside
       the public are regularly invited to make submissions or        for work in the provinces and for decision in the NCOP.
       representations on legislation and other matters before        In addition to its overarching responsibility to hold the
       committees of the National Assembly and they can even          Executive accountable for its responsibilities in relation to
       petition Parliament if they feel particularly strongly about   provinces, the Constitution gives the NCOP a number of
       a matter.                                                      very specific oversight responsibilities that relate to the
                                                                      relationship between the spheres of government and to
                                                                      matters of national importance. In terms of section 72 of
                                                                      the Constitution, the NCOP has a duty to facilitate public
                                                                      involvement in the legislative and other processes of
                                                                      the NCOP and its committees and to conduct its business
                                                                      in an open manner. The fact that the NCOP must obtain
                                                                      mandates on some national legislation in itself opens up a
                                                                      significant opportunity for public participation.

2
WE arE aT Par
Our mandate required us to engagement
                                                                                                       Hon. B Mbete, Speaker of the
communities on socio-economic issues                                                                   National Assembly

Welcome to the fourth Women’s Parliament.          Our mandate requires that we engage with          on empowering women to confront
Since the start of the 3rd Parliament,             our electorate on an ongoing basis to ensure      and address the challenges caused by
we have convened a national Women’s                that we stay abreast of issues that affect our    poverty. The 2008 Women’s Parliament
Parliament during August, the Women’s              people. It is critical that we understand the     will deal with issues of women and macro
month, every year. This is an important            challenges both as elected representatives        economic policy. It will examine the role of
public participation initiative as it enables      and as the electorate as it is through the        social movements and regional women’s
women from the nine provinces to come to           meeting of minds that we will find ways           organisations in eradicating poverty and
Parliament and engage with their elected           to deal with the difficulties we face. It is      economically empowering women. It will
representatives on issues that are pertinent       through creative programmes like these that       also examine the link between increased
to women. This is a people’s Parliament,           we learn from one another and build our           political representation of women and
so it is precisely for this reason that we         future together.                                  poverty eradication.
devised ways such as this to engage with
our people, cognisant of the fact that not         The 2008 Women’s Parliament through               We wish you robust deliberation, fruitful
everybody has the resources to come to             its theme, Parliament empowering                  discussion of the issues and meaningful
Parliament in Cape Town.                           women for poverty eradication, will focus         exchange of perspectives



                                                   a duTy fOr all
                                                   We are pursuing the agenda for the total
                                                   emancipation of women
                                                   women participate in the transformation           the beer hall system, the formation of
                                                   of our country. It is a forum for mutually        women structures in order to place women
 Hon. M.J Mahlangu, Chairperson of the             beneficial dialogue between policy-makers         issues on the national agenda, among
 National Council of Provinces
                                                   and women. Over the years, we have used           others.
I would like to register my word of welcome        this forum to deal with challenges still facing
to all the participants to this year’s Women’s     women, such as:                                   As we know, 1994 saw the beginning of a
Parliament.                                                                                          new struggle, a struggle which through the
                                                   ● access to education;                            years enabled us to put in place laws aimed
Gathered under the theme ``Parliament              ● access to land;                                 at protecting and empowering all South
empowering women for poverty                       ● women, children and the law; and                Africans, especially women and children.
eradication’’, all of us have a duty to            ● Human trafficking, especially of                Among these laws we can count the:
contribute to the deliverance of more                women and children.
women from poverty and want. This is                                                                 ● Commission on Gender Equality Act;
important given the fact that even as we           The struggle for the human dignity of             ● Preferential Procurement Policy
meet again this year we do so fully knowing        women has been a long journey indeed.               Framework Act;
that there are still millions of women at the      Some of the events and activities that            ● Domestic Violence Act; and the,
receiving end of poverty.                          influenced it include the anti-pass march on      ● Sexual Offences Act, to mention but few.
                                                   the 9th of August 1956, where women of
Despite all our achievements so far we             South Africa from all racial groups marched       They are critical in addressing our current
cannot underestimate the challenges we still       to the Union Buildings in Pretoria. It was a      challenges.
face as a society. It is for this reason that we   watershed moment, an important catalyst of
must continue to do our utmost in pursuing         the ongoing struggle for the emancipation         However, the true emancipation of women
the agenda for the total emancipation of           of women through empowerment and                  could only be measured by the extent to
women.                                             protection against any form of affliction.        which these interventions are assisting
                                                                                                     women to lead better lives. The Women’s
The aim behind our annual Women’s                  We cannot forget the 1957 women’s anti-           Parliament is essential in this regard. We are
Parliament has always been to ensure that          pass demonstrations, the protests against         looking forward to your varied contributions.




                                                                                                                                                   3
                                                                                           GlObally
                                                                                           COMPETiTivE
                                                                                           Our Parliament is
                                                                                           ranked 10th out of 130
                                                                                           top parliaments on
                                                                                           women representation
                                                                                           in the world

                                                                                           interventions are assisting them to lead
                                                                                           better lives, saying “This means we must
                                                                                           go beyond having the laws and ensure
                                                                                           that their implementation really benefit
                                                                                           women.”

                                                                                           The Constitution of this country enjoins all
                                                                                           of us to transform our society.., we need
                                                                                           to work together as a collective force.”

                                                                                           The gala dinner attended by about 300
                                                                                           guests, included provincial participants
                                                                                           and special guests of the Presiding Officers
                                                                                           of Parliament. Also the male delegation
Delegates stream in at the 2008 Women’s Parliament Dinner.
                                                                                           known as the “Male veterans” who played
The Parliament of the Republic of South        top parliaments in the world in terms of    a support role during the 1956 Women’s
African is happy that slowly but sturdily      women representation.                       march to the Union Buildings graced the
issues affecting women representation                                                      memorable occasion.
and poverty eradication are well debated       “We have approximately one third of
in the transformation of society.              Members of Parliament who are women.”       However, the celebratory mood at the
                                                                                           dinner marked the end to an eventful
Speaking at the Gala Dinner held last           She says we need to work together as       day that was characterised by city tours
night in Cape Town to welcome delegates        a collective force in order “to win this    to the most historic monuments as part
attending this year’s Women’s Parliament,      struggle for women emancipation.            of their “Cape Town Cultural Experience.”
the Deputy Chairperson of the National                                                     The delegation was privileged to tour
Council of Provinces, Ms Peggy Hollander,      “Programmes such as the Women’s             townships, Robben Island and other
said that “It is also a well known fact that   Parliament are there to help us             social upliftment programmes around the
many of our women are still confronted         ensure that women participate in the        Western Cape Province.
by poverty and underdevelopment in their       transformation of our country”
communities.                                                                               On a lighter note, Thapelo Mofokeng,
                                               With this year’s theme in mind:             regarded by many as the country’s
These are, more often than not, women          “Parliament Empowering Women for            top jazz and blues cabaret artist, was
who occupy the fringes of society, located     Poverty Eradication“Hollander said          among the performers who kept guests
in areas with seemingly chronic service        the achievements made so far are not        enthralled. Up-and-coming group,
delivery challenges.”                          enough, “as the current living conditions   Thembi’s Jazz Band from Gugulethu played
                                               of many women attest.”                      their special brand of African pop jazz
Hollander emphasised the importance                                                        songs. The evening set the appropriate
of the 2008 Women’s Parliament and             She told delegates that the true            tone for delegates as they prepare to
its importance saying that “today our          emancipation of women should be             grapple with the thematic areas for
Parliament is ranked 10th out of 130           measured by the extent to which our         debates over the next two days.




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Guests: Mr Mninwa Mahlangu, Chairperson of The National Council             Keynote: Ms Peggy Hollander, Deputy Chairperson of the National
of Provinces, sitting with some of his guests at the 2008 Women’s           Council of Provinces, delivered a keynote address at the 2008 Women’s
Parliament Dinner.                                                          Parliament Dinner.




dOWN MEMOry laNE
Delegates visit
historic landmarks
that commemorate
instigated revolts,
resistance and
defiance against
colonial rule                                    Strictly Men: The 1895 Church of the Good Shepherd built by and for the lepers of Robben Island
                                                 which went into great disrepair when the lepers relocated to Pretoria in 1931


The social programme of the Women                suffered the worst atrocities known to           what political prisoners had to comprehend
Parliament 2008 started off with a tour          mankind.                                         under the harshest of conditions. The
of Robben Island, twelve kilometres from                                                          Robben Island blurb sums it succinctly:
Cape Town main land, which allowed               On setting their feet on the Island the          “Those imprisoned on the Island succeeded
the delegates to pay homage to political         Women Parliament delegates broke into            on a psychological and political level in
activists who sacrificed their bones, flesh      freedom songs, while others were taken           turning a prison ‘hell-hole’ into a symbol of
and blood for this country’s freedom.            aback by its desolate nature. On hearing         freedom and personal liberation.”
                                                 the brutality that political prisoners had
During our recent turbulent past Robben          to endure during their incarceration some        Of late it has indeed come to represent
Island was best known for its institutional      of the delegates’ eyes welled with tears         the “triumph of the human spirit over
brutality. It is where political activists who   and others who could not hold themselves         enormous hardship and adversity.” That is
instigated revolts, resistance and defiance      wailed. One of the delegates refused to          what is now famously known for and that
against colonial and later Apartheid rule        enter into the main prison cells, claiming       is why it has now been elevated into a
were banished and brutally alienated             that she had enough and could not take it        world famous heritage site.
against themselves and the world around          anymore.
them; mimed and stripped what was left                                                            One of its famous prisoners was the
of their dignity against their will; and who     It is indeed remarkable to hear and see          renowned South African liberation struggle




                                                                                                                                              5
  icon and our former President Nelson                  In that it was a host of the infamous Langa          sorrow and despair. What she left
  Mandela, who once claimed: “Never, never              massacre that laid bare the brutality of             behind is a music legacy that is yet to
  again shall it be that this beautiful land            the Apartheid repression. It is also in this         be emulated.
  shall ever experience oppression of one by            township where immigration laws were
  another.” After their homage to our troubled          administered. Laws that denied wives their           While still at Langa, delegates went
  past they duly proceeded to Langa, one of             mutual relationship with their husbands.             to Lelapa Restaurant where they were
  the oldest black townships in Cape Town.                                                                   treated to traditional African cuisine and
                                                        Apart from that, it also boasts of other             eclectic sounds of Lelapa Marimba Band.
  It is here where blacks were relocated after          progressive artists who changed the course           After which they boarded their buses and
  they have been forcibly removed from                  of our artistic landscape. The renowned pop          retreated to their hotel rooms to get a
  District Six in the early sixties. This tiny          diva Brenda Fassie is one who immediately            deserved rest and to refresh for the
  location is also steeped in a black liberation        come to mind. She, through her music, gave           2008 Women Parliament official
  struggle history.                                     us hope when our country was immersed in             welcoming dinner.




                                                                                        POiGNaNT rEMiNdEr
                                                                                                                        Exhibition on
                                                                                                                        Women MPs
                                                                                                                        brings enchanted
                                                                                                                        memoirs of
                                                                                                                        heroines of our
                                                                                                                        struggle

Ms Baleka Mbete, Speaker of The National Assembly, Ms Gwen Mahlangu-Nkabinde, Deputy Speaker                 A history so universal and so sacred as the
of The National Assembly, and Ms Peggy Hollander, Deputy Chairperson of The National Council of
Provinces, are part of the 2008 Women’s Parliament exhibition now on show at the Old Assembly                unsettling vice of its genesis: sexism.
Chamber.
                                                                                                             These women stand proudly and tough minded
The 2008 Women MPs exhibition at the Old               They are the benefactors of the blood, sweat          about the interests of the constituency they
Assembly Chamber is a poignant reminder that           and tears of those who came before them. Gate         represent. They also stir curiosity about how
South Africa has come a very long way. Thirteen        keepers who never hedged their bet, who instead       they are collectively mindful of the plight of their
year ago South African Women were enduring             spoke truth to power and whose unflinching            kind who still unduly endure various forms of
the darkest chapter of our political history. They     resistance is credited for our institutional          discrimination and hardship. And how they can
were subjugated to all conceivable vices of            transformation that recognise women not only as       exploit their statures for the common good of all
gender disparities.                                    equals to men, but also as major role players in      South African women. That realization is indeed
                                                       forging our new democratic discourse. The current     humbling.
Here they are today honoured as the image of           exhibition of prominent Women MPs who are at
change. Busking in pride as they comprehend all        the fore front of Parliament affairs have ensured     These photographs will also form part of
facets and responsibilities of leadership. A terrain   that their sacrifices were never in vain.             Parliament memory and also mark the end of
which was hitherto perceived to be the province                                                              yet another Parliamentary tenure: 3rd Parliament
of men. No one would expertly foretell, not even       In that this stately exhibition chronicles actively   that has recorded major milestones that have
a clairvoyant of their changed fortunes.               how South African gender discourse has                advanced the cause of women through various
                                                       advanced from the age of acute pessimism to           pieces of legislation many of which were
 In that they have not only made history, they         that of profound optimism. It’s a soul searching      champion by the conviction of those whose face
went on to demystify it. This breed of MPs have        exposition that captures the major South African      grace this majestic exhibition.
not only given face to our country’s indiscriminate    political milestone that can’t be forgotten in a
winds of change, most importantly, they are            twinkle of an eye. And whose acclaim can’t be         In the nutshell, this exhibition is, on one hand, an
thrust at the centre of four –decade-long cause of     pronounced with silence. Because our nation’s         introspective and harrowing window to women
women which has its roots in the famous 1956           soul and our collective political genes bear its      past, on the other, a tell tale of the emergence of
March.                                                 imprints. Imprints charged with the grandeur of       conviction over repression.
                                                       history.




  6
                                                                                       proGrAmmE                                                                                                      proGrAmmE



                                                                                                                          BrEAK-AWAY THEmATIC DISCUSSIoN GroUpS
    DAY 1: TUESDAY, 19 AUGUST 2008
                                                                                                                          THEME 1: REFLECTING ON PREVIOUS WOMEN’S PARLIAMENTS             VENUE: COMMITTEE ROOM 1
                                                                                                                                                                                          UPPER GROUND FLOOR,
    PLENARY SESSION                                                     VENUE: OLD ASSEMBLY CHAMBER
                                                                                                                                                                                          90 PLEIN STREET

    CHAIRPERSON: MS G L MAHLANGU-NkABINDE, MP                                                                             CHAIRPERSON: MS J SEMPLE, MP
    Deputy Speaker of the National Assembly                                                                               Member of the Sectoral Parliaments Steering Committee

                                                                                                                          Procedural support: The National Council of Provinces
    08:00             Tea/coffee on arrival                             Venue: Old Assembly Chamber Foyer
                                                                                                                          11:50 − 12:00    Election of rapporteur
    08:30 – 08:45     Welcome and Opening                               Ms B Mbete, MP
                                                                        Speaker of the National Assembly                  12:00 – 13:00    Deliberations
    08:45 – 09:00     Contextualising the Women’s Parliament            Ms N D Ntwanambi, MP
                                                                                                                          13:00 – 13:45    Lunch                                          Venue: Old Assembly Dining Room
                                                                        Chief Whip of the National Council of Provinces
    09:00 − 09:20     Key-note address                                  Mr T M Mbeki                                      14:00 – 14:45    DEBATE:                                        VENUE: NATIONAL ASSEMBLY CHAMBER
                                                                        President of the Republic of South Africa                          “Ending impunity for sexual and gender-based
    09:20 − 09:40     Theme 1:                                                                                                             violence: An outcome of the Pan-African
                      Reflecting on Previous Women’s Parliaments        Ms R M Morutoa, MP                                                 conference held in Kenya 21 - 23 July 2008”
                                                                        Chairperson of the JMC on                         15:00 – 16:30    Deliberations resume
                                                                        Improvement of Status and Quality
                                                                        of Life of Women                                  16:30 – 16:45    Tea                                            Venue: Old Assembly Chamber Foyer
    09:40 − 10:00     Theme 2:
                      Women and Macro-Economic Policy                   Ms M Ramos                                        16:45 − 17:45    EXHIBITION                                     Venue: Slave Lodge
                                                                        Group Chief Executive of Transnet                                  • Celebrating Women: Women’s struggles in
                                                                                                                                           20th century South Africa – Our Tears and
    10:00 − 10:20     Theme 3:                                                                                                             Our Triumphs
                      The role of Social Movements and Regional        Ms T V Tobias-Pokolo, MP                                            • Malibongwe: Let us praise the women
                      Women’s Organisations in eradicating poverty and Chairperson of the PC on Public Works                               – Portraits by Giséle Wulfsohn
                      economically empowering women                                                                                        • Remembering Slavery

    10:20 −10:40      Theme 4:                                                                                            THEME 2: WOMEN AND MACRO-ECONOMIC POLICY                        VENUE: S 26, NCOP BUILDING
                      The link between the increased political         Dr G Mongella
                                                                                                                          CHAIRPERSON: MR T S RALANE, MP
                      representation of women and poverty              President of the Pan-African Parliament
                                                                                                                          Chairperson of the SC on Finance
                      eradication
    10:40 – 11:00     Report on the Convention for the Elimination of all Ms R Reddy                                      Procedural support: The National Council of Provinces
                      forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) Director, Office on the Status of
                                                                          Women in the Presidency                         11:50 − 12:00    Election of rapporteur
    11:00 – 11:30     Photo Opportunity                                 Venue: Steps of the National Assembly             12:00 – 13:00    Deliberations

                                                                                                                          13:00 – 13:45    Lunch                                          Venue: Old Assembly Dining Room
    11:30 – 11:45     Tea                                               Venue: Old Assembly Chamber Foyer
                                                                                                                          14:00 – 14:45    DEBATE:                                        VENUE: NATIONAL ASSEMBLY CHAMBER
                                                                                                                                           “Ending impunity for sexual and gender-based
                                                                                                                                           violence: An outcome of the Pan-African
                                                                                                                                           conference held in Kenya 21 – 23 July 2008”

                                                                                                                          15:00 – 16:30    Deliberations resume

                                                                                                                          16:30 – 16:45    Tea                                            Venue: Old Assembly Chamber Foyer




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                                                                                  proGrAmmE                                                                                        proGrAmmE


16:45 − 17:45    EXHIBITION                                        Venue: Slave Lodge
                 • Celebrating Women: Women’s struggles in
                 20th century South Africa                                                              16:30 – 16:45     Tea                                          Venue: Old Assembly Chamber Foyer
                 – Our Tears and Our Triumphs
                 • Malibongwe: Let us praise the women                                                  16:45 − 17:45     EXHIBITION                                   Venue: Slave Lodge
                 – Portraits by Giséle Wulfsohn                                                                           • Celebrating Women: Women’s struggles
                 • Remembering Slavery                                                                                      in 20th century South Africa – Our Tears
                                                                                                                            and Our Triumphs
                                                                                                                          • Malibongwe: Let us praise the women
THEME 3: THE ROLE OF SOCIAL MOVEMENTS AND REGIONAL WOMEN’S         VENUE: OLD ASSEMBLY CHAMBER                            – Portraits by Giséle Wulfsohn
ORGANISATIONS IN ERADICATING POVERTY AND ECONOMICALLY                                                                     • Remembering Slavery
EMPOWERING WOMEN

CHAIRPERSON: MRS M P THEMBA, MP
Co-Chairperson of the JMC on Improvement of Status and Quality of Life of Women

Procedural support: The National Council of Provinces

11:50 − 12:00    Election of rapporteur
12:00 – 13:00    Deliberations

13:00 – 13:45    Lunch                                             Venue:    Old Assembly Dining Room

14:00 – 14:45    DEBATE:                                           VENUE: NATIONAL ASSEMBLY CHAMBER
                 “Ending impunity for sexual and gender-based
                 violence: An outcome of the Pan-African
                 conference held in Kenya 21 – 23 July 2008”
15:00 – 16:30    Deliberations resume

16:30 – 16:45    Tea                                               Venue: Old Assembly Chamber Foyer

16:45 − 17:45    EXHIBITION                                        Venue: Slave Lodge
                 • Celebrating Women: Women’s struggles
                   in 20th century South Africa – Our Tears
                   and Our Triumphs
                 • Malibongwe: Let us praise the women
                   – Portraits by Giséle Wulfsohn
                 • Remembering Slavery

THEME 4: THE LINK BETWEEN THE INCREASED POLITICAL                  VENUE: S 35, NCOP BUILDING
REPRESENTATION OF WOMEN AND POVERTY ERADICATION

CHAIRPERSON: MS S P RWEXANA, MP
Chairperson of the Multi-Party Women’s Caucus

Procedural support: The National Council of Provinces

11:50 − 12:00    Election of rapporteur
12:00 – 13:00    Deliberations

13:00 – 13:45    Lunch                                             Venue: Old Assembly Dining Room

14:00 – 14:45    DEBATE:                                           VENUE: NATIONAL ASSEMBLY CHAMBER
                 “Ending impunity for sexual and gender-based                                                      Produced by the Parliamentary Communication Services
                 violence: An outcome of the Pan-African                                                                            Inspired by People
                 conference held in Kenya 21 - 23July 2008”
15:00 – 16:30    Deliberations resume
                                                                                                                        Visit our Parliament Website www.parliament.gov.za,
                                                                                                                                Tel: 021 403 2911, Fax: 021 403 3786

				
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