Gender Equity Bill: South Africa

The Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill (Bill) has been passed by the National Assembly and is now awaiting approval by the National Council of Provinces.

The implications of the Bill, if passed, is that it will require employers’ decision making bodies to be comprised of a minimum of 50% female representation. While employers may want to pre-emptively ready themselves for this possible new #legislation, it may be in vain, even if the Bill is promulgated.

If the Bill is enacted, not all of its provisions will apply to every employer.

In order to effect change, legislation is often necessary to impart a sense of necessity.

In this case, although it looks like #south africa‘s Gender Equity Bill will become law, it appears to be more of an education process than a compliance one. There are many ‘out’ clauses for employers making it something of a toothless tiger.

However it sets the tone for the direction organisations need to take and will shape societal expectations.

It will be interesting to watch over the next few years to see what impact this law has, if any. If Australian experience is any guide, this approach will yield slow results.

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