Focusing on women’s role and progress in democracy

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Around sixty countries, including South Africa are set to hold elections this year and at least 1.3 billion of the voters will be women.

Although women have been at the forefront of transformation in South Africa, the big question is what progress has been made by women in this country in the 30 years since the transition to democracy, and around the world.

South Africa is celebrating thirty years of democracy this year and women across the country contributed to building the freedom.

Dr Brigalia Bam is one of those women. She was one of the commissioners who were tasked with the responsibility of preparing for the first democratic elections in 1994.

And she later became the chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission.

The contribution of women in building South Africa as a democratic state cannot be ignored. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, the Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities, played a critical role.

And as the world celebrates International Women’s month, ANC stalwart Sophie de Bruyn says the challenges facing women are daunting.

Business mogul Dr Precious Moloi-Motsepe says women must be included in leadership and decision-making bodies.

Another challenge facing women according to National Treasury’s Financial Inclusion director, Nontobeko Lubisi, is financial and economic inclusion.

African women, in particular, continue to face systemic barriers that hinder their full participation and these include limited access to education and health care as well as unequal opportunities in the workforce and under-representation in decision-making processes.

International Women’s Day | Ministers Pandor, Dlamini-Zuma, Modise on women’s global progress