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Commissioner for the Commission for Gender Equality – Advocate Thando Gumede

This week on Womanity-Women in Unity, Dr. Amaleya Goneos-Malka talks to Advocate Thando Gumede, a Commissioner for the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE), which is one of six Chapter 9 institutions tasked with guarding South Africa’s Democracy. We discuss the role of the CGE, which is mandated to promote, respect, protect, develop and attain gender equality, as well as making recommendations affecting the status of women.

Several international instruments promote and uphold the rights of women, which have been ratified in South Africa. These include, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the Sustainable Development Goals (notably Goal 5), and SADC Protocol on Gender and Development. These regional and global frameworks address diverse forms of gender discrimination #16DaysOfActivism.

However, policy without implementation is meaningless. Citizens need to be aware of their rights, take ownership of them and act when infractions occur. People should also exercise their power on political leadership and hold them accountable to deliver what they commit to.  Advocate Gumede notes a positive trend where women are reshaping their ideals in society and recognising their value as individuals; they are not defining their identities in relation to someone else i.e. a girlfriend, fiancé, wife.

Advocate Gumede reflects on her journey as a gender activist, where unfortunate circumstances in life redirected her passion for engineering and innovation to study law with an entrepreneurship mind set. She received an Allan Gray Orbis Foundation scholarship to finance her studies. After ten years in the making, she was appointed to be a Commissioner for the Commission for Gender Equality.  She reminds us to find our courage, that life is a constant journey, and to be receptive to inputs that shape us into becoming the humans we were destined to be.

Tune in for more…

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