Government policies favour men - Mbethe

ANC NEC member Baleka Mbete believes government policies still favour men.

Former President Nelson Mandela receives a symbolic flame from ANC Chairperson Baleka Mbete on 30 May 2012. It was his first appearance in public since being hospitalised in January. Picture: ANC

CAPE TOWN - Former deputy president Baleka Mbete on Thursday said government policies favour men.

Speaking at the opening of the Women's Parliament at the Cape Town International Convention Centre, she said patriarchy was undermining women.

Mbete said gender equality underpins the Constitution, but said South Africa has a long way to go in balancing the playing field.

According to the 2012 Women in Leadership census report, women held only 3.6 percent of chief executive or managing director positions, 5.5 percent of board chair positions, 17 percent of directorships and 21 percent of executive management positions in the private sector.

Mbete also questioned what legislation and policy means for ordinary women.

She called on government to continue monitoring and evaluating interventions to see what works, rather than starting anew.

Justice Minister Jeff Radebe is expected to address the Women's Parliament later on Thursday.

He will focus on the controversial Traditional Courts Bill.

If passed into law, it will allow traditional leaders to have sole authority to interpret and implement customary law.