Yep, there is finally some good news going on in Africa this week. South African President Jacob Zuma-led Cabinet approved the Women Empowerment and Gender Quality Draft Bill for publication in the Government Gazette for public comment Wednesday.
The draft Bill seeks to:
- Provide the Minister of Women, Children and People with Disabilities with the necessary authority to monitor, review and oversee gender mainstreaming and integration of gender equality considerations into all programmes of government and other sectors;
- Promote the protection and advancement of women as envisaged in section 9 (2) of the Constitution.
During the launch of Women’s Month, Minister for Women, Children and People with Disabilities Lulu Xingwana explained how the bill will empower women. “South Africa has some of the most progressive policies on the the empowerment of women and gender parity. This will set guidelines on how woman should be empowered,” she said.
Xingwana also points that the biggest challenge is in the implementation of these policies. The Bill is reported to be published on the Government Gazette this week and the public will have 30 days to submit their comments. I am curious to see how the Bill will play out over the next several months, and hope this Gender Equality Bill empowers other African nations to do the same.
After fighting a undisclosed illness Ethiopia Prime Minster Meles Zenawi died at hospital in Brussels Monday. “Prime Minister Zenawi suddenly passed away last night. Meles was recovering in a hospital overseas for the past two months, but died of a sudden infection at 11:40,” stated Ethiopian TV.
Although Ethiopia is at a mourning stage, leaders around the world continue to remember PM Meles in a positive way. According to BBC News Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, President of Liberia stated:
“Meles Zenawi was an economic transformer, he was a strong intellectual leader for the continent. In our regional meetings he stood out because of his intellect and his ability to respond and to lead dialogue on matters relating to African development. He will be missed in all of our meetings and all of our endeavour.
I don’t have fears [over the transition] because I believe there are many other leaders in Ethiopia who will get the support of regional leaders to make the transformation that is necessary, moving towards an open society.”
Meles has been in power since ousting Mengistu Haile Mariam’s military junta in 1991.With over 20 years of political involvement with Ethiopia, Meles has brought peace and prostpority to a reigon who has not known nothing but turmoil. I hope his legacy continues to forward not only the nation, but Africa as a whole.