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Everything You Need to Know About What the ANC, the DA and the EFF Are Doing for Women

It’s time to ROCK THE VOTE.

Registered to vote but not sure who to vote for in the national elections on 8 May? We gotchu, girl.

Political reporter Tshidi Madia investigates how our leading political parties shape up when it comes to a woman’s agenda.

In the April issue of the COSMOPOLITAN magazine, we explore what issues are important to you. Here is what you need to know – for the full report buy your issue of COSMOPOLITAN. On stands now!

Here’s everything that you need to know about what the ANC, the DA and the EFF are doing for women:

African National Congress (ANC)

What you need to know: 

The ANC praises itself for the progress made in addressing gender inequality. the party currently boasts a 50/50 gender-parity policy. this is reflected in the National executive committee, and its caucuses in the National Assembly, provincial legislatures and various party structures.

This year, the ANC is concentrating on youth development and making sure young people are absorbed into the labour market. in the 2014 elections, the focus was on ensuring that women were the biggest beneficiaries of the government’s economic empowerment programmes.

In 2014 it was stated that National Health Insurance (NHI) would be implemented within five years, with the aim of ensuring South Africans can access quality healthcare, regardless of their financial background.

What the ANC Has Done So Far

Women have been able to have legal abortions since 1997 and have access to free HIV/Aids screening and antiretroviral treatment. In terms of family planning, the 2019 election manifesto broadly spoke about primary healthcare, which is to be extended to pregnant women and children, but this has been the case since the ANC came into power in 1994.

Sanitary towels made it onto a list of zero-rated goods. Finance Minister Tito Mboweni announced during his 2019 Budget speech that government would scrap the value-added tax on sanitary towels from the beginning of April. He also said funds had been set aside for some provinces to provide free sanitary pads. While critics lauded the plan to zero-rate sanitary towels, they said giving out free products is more practical, as many girls still can’t afford these essentials, even with the tax discount.

Plans for Election Year

ANC has pledged to continue with its social-cohesion programme and to fight against racism, sexism, homophobia and other forms of intolerance – this includes finalising proposed legislation to prevent the persecution and ridiculing of from albinism. These will be classified as hate crimes.

When it comes to gender-based violence (GBV), the ANC believes the answer lies in addressing the cause. The party has promised to beef up its crime-fighting institutions to better support survivors. The ANC manifesto referred to this issue facing women as having reached ‘crisis proportions’, calling on more people, particularly men, to take a stand against abuse.

Democratic Alliance (DA)

What You Need to Know

Zille, who was at the helm for eight years and will be stepping down from her role as Premier of the Western Cape. She successfully reached new heights at the polls by gaining votes outside the party’s traditional white liberal core.

The party launched a women’s network which is aimed at improving the status of women in society. The Democratic Alliance Women’s Network (DAWN) aims to address women’s issues across the country, including rape, gender-based violence and access to treatment.

Its goal is to provide adequate access to healthcare for all citizens. It also promotes wellness in its policies, which aim to empower women to lead healthy lifestyles and enable access to health practitioners who can advise them on ways of taking better care of themselves.

What the DA Has Done So Far

The DA runs programmes in which menstrual towels and cups are delivered to girls in rural communities.

Plans for Election Year

The DA is pro the decriminalisation of sex work, with some of its leaders in the Western Cape, including DAWN leader Nomafrench Mbombo, already providing access to treatment and mobile clinics for sex workers. Her argument is that not everyone who is a sex worker is doing it out of desperation – for some it’s a form of dignified employment.

Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF)

What You Need to Know

Lands and jobs are major issues for the party. It has focused on placing women at the centre of its vision for South Africa, and has vowed to give land to 50 000 landless people if it comes into power.

Most of the skills-training and job-creation programmes are targeted at women and the youth. As part of their ‘fourth industrial revolution’, the EFF vows to build and upgrade computer and science labs, and provide all necessary equipment to every school, creating 5000 jobs, half of which will be reserved for women.

The party has committed to building research and development centres in order to establish a digital healthcare system. Research centres will work on developing cures and treatments for communicable and non-communicable diseases.

What the EFF Has Done So Far

The red berets have managed to make themselves the leading voice on the land debate, having successfully tabled a motion to expropriate land without compensation. The party got many of its supporters to attend and voice their views when Parliament’s joint committee sat to discuss whether the constitution should be amended to allow for the expropriation of land.

Plans for Election Year

The EFF has committed to legalise sex work before the end of the year if it comes into power. On issues of crime and justice, it wants to introduce courts for minor and petty crimes, along with any offences of a sexual nature that involve children, and to introduce provisions specifically aimed at the protection of vulnerable groups, especially women, children, people with disabilities and the LGBTQI community. It also pledges to increase public awareness and change that mindset views this community as abnormal. It will seek to amend the criminal law legislation to introduce harsher sentences for those found guilty of hate crimes, including corrective rape.

Read more about your options before the national election on 8 May by picking up your copy of our April issue.

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