Effectiveness of employment legislation in local government: a case study of gender equality in Nongoma and Ulundi municipalities
Vundla, Cherron Nonceba
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This study is focused on investigating the effectiveness of gender equity in local government. The discussion is centered on gender equity in senior positions in Nongoma and Ulundi Municipalities. In Ulundi Municipality, women hold only 24% of senior positions, whilst the rest of the positions consisting of 76%, are held by men. In Nongoma Municipality women hold only15%, while 85% are held by men. In previous years, Ulundi did demonstrate adherence to the legislation that supports gender equity, however, prior to 1994, women were not provided with equal opportunities to aspire to senior positions in local government, which is of concern in the current dispensation in the South African municipal sphere. The discussion relates to the stereotypes, racism, sexism and other issues, impacting in governance matters in local government. The study also outlines the need for participation of women in local governance and the implementation of the Gender Equity Plan, which must be submitted every year to the Government Offices, whose focus is on affirmative action policies as one of the significant national imperatives in the country. An important focus is that the Millennium Development Goals 3 (MDG’s), focuses on gender equality and the empowerment of women in government, in particular and within the context of, local government. The research utilised the qualitative research method to interpret the behavior and attitudes of employers of local government on the selection and recruiting of women into senior positions. The sampling approach employed in this study is random sampling and the sampling design was stratified sampling. Survey questionnaires were conducted to collect data and allow observations to be anonymous, as it assisted in answering questions freely and without embarrassment or fear of reprisal. The questionnaire utilised the Likert Scale in the construction of questions that provided data for validity and reliability. Analyzing of the data was done using the Statistical Package for Social Science (SPSS). Data was analyzed for statistical significance amongst key variables in order to establish the common trends and issues impacting on the employment of women into senior positions in Nongoma and Ulundi Municipalities in particular, and local government in general. It is hoped that through this research study, the fit between gender issue and employment practices in local government, may be better understood with a focus on addressing the implementation of some of the human resource management policies, towards transformation in the context of gender equality.