Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities Maite Nkoana-Mashabane has described the election of KwaZulu-Natal’s first female Premier as a progressive step towards the transformation of gender roles in leadership and the development of women in South Africa.
Nkoana-Mashabane commended the election of Nomusa Dube-Ncube who was sworn-in on Wednesday as the first female Premier in KwaZulu-Natal since the inception of democracy in South Africa.
“This is a victory in a patriarchal society [and] it proves that women can lead and show their leadership skills. The contributions of women in the fight against apartheid can no longer be silenced,” Nkoana-Mashabane said.
She added that the role of women did not end in the fight against apartheid, but women have been instrumental in “shaping our democratic dispensation and so women’s ascension to leadership roles must follow”.
“Women have been at the forefront of the implementation of our progressive legislation through mass-based mobilisations and advocacy, driving transformational leadership and holding those in power accountable and therefore Dube-Ncube’s appointment solidifies the fact that women are waiting to lead.
“We wish Premier Nomsa Dube-Ncube success in her role and we are confident that her set of skills will be able to help deal with societal issues that women, youth and persons with disabilities face, particularly in rural areas,” the Minister said.
Political parties must lead in embracing equal participation
The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) said the election of a female Premier in the province sends a strong message to society that political parties must lead in embracing equal participation of women and men in leadership and decision-making processes at all levels.
“The commission would like to urge Premier Dube-Ncube to fundamentally fast-track gender transformation in KwaZulu-Natal and prioritise programmes that will empower women and rural women in particular, to participate in the mainstream economy.
“The CGE will always, if called upon, give necessary advice in gender related aspects in ensuring that gender equality is attained,” said Commission spokesperson Javu Baloyi.