Effective implementation of a strategic framework for gender equality in the public service with specific reference to leadership governance
Mokhele, Mosekama Osia
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From the advent of the democratic dispensation, South Africa as a country promulgated various policies addressing gender equity transformation in the public service and private sector. In 2005, the South African Cabinet adopted A Strategic Framework for Gender Equality within the Public Service (2006 – 2015). The framework’s intention was to address gender disparities in leadership structures in the public service. The central principle of the framework stipulates that public service leadership governance should be on a 50/50 representation. The strategic pillar of this framework was to ensure that women are integrated into the senior management services – regardless of race, disability or ethnicity. The promulgation of this framework was to impact positively on the elimination of gender disparity challenges the apartheid regime left behind when the government of today took power in 1994. South Africa has undergone significant social and political transformation over the past twenty years of freedom. The he Women Empowerment and Gender Equity Bill of 2013; the Public Service Act(Act 103 of 1994);the White Paper on Affirmative Action;the Employment Equity Act(Act 55 of 1998);the White Paper on the Transformation of the Public Service, 1997; A Strategic Framework for Gender Equality within the Public Service (2006 – 2015); and the Promotion and Prevention of Unfair Discrimination Act (Act 4 of 2000) have all contributed to eliminating imbalances and improving gender equity transformation in the workplace. The objectives of this research were to establish the realities and challenges facing the Free-State Department of the Premier relating to gender equity towards integrating women into the Senior Management Service. Furthermore, the study assessed the applicability of the framework for gender equality and evaluated its validity with regards to the impact it has on women in the workplace. Particular attention was paid to the effects of the implementation of A Strategic Framework for Gender Equality in the Public Service. The focus area was these four critical areas of the Department, namely: * The Employment Equity Plan; * Discriminatory policies/practices; * Recruitment and selection; and * Reasonable accommodation and training. For this study to achieve the objectives of the research, the following was done: * Firstly, a comprehensive literature study was done to determine the theoretical background and the intentions of the framework. The review was conducted to establish what led to the promulgation and adoption of this framework in 2005 by the South African Cabinet; * Secondly, qualitative and quantitative methods of collecting data were used. For the qualitative research, the Human Resource Plan and the Employment Equity Plan were analysed. For the quantitative research, self-administered questionnaires were sent to selected participants in the Free-State Department of the Premier for completion; and * Lastly, the responses to those questionnaires were analysed, and the findings were presented. This was followed by the recommendation.