You educate a woman, you educate a whole community, a whole village- Ruth O’niango

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Interprovincial Women’s Caucuses Workshop to strengthen Oversight on legislature that affects women’s rights

May 2013

KwaZulu-Natal South Africa AWEPA supported a workshop for the provincial legislature’s women’s caucuses of six provinces. The workshop was focused on two tenants:

The Bill sought to empower traditional courts to make legally binding judgements in community matters.  The bill was challenged by women parliamentarians on the basis that it disenfranchised women because of the lack of the representation of women on the traditional community bodies who would judge cases. The bill was also criticized by parliamentarians, academics and civil society organisations on the basis that it was unconstitutional and that it conferred legal status onto leaders who were undemocratically put in place and supported  by the former colonial and Apartheid regimes. The public hearing was attended by approximately 150 women from the rural areas of the host province KwaZulu-Natal.  Although the bill was scrapped in the National Parliament at the end of 2012, women parliamentarians have stated that the bill is likely to reappear in a different form and thus women from the rural areas need to be more empowered in order to prevent any possible usurpation of their rights.