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South Africa: Call for the Acceleration of the Achievement of Millennium Development Goals Ahead of 2015 Deadline
Source: Issued by: Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities
Source Date: Thursday, March 20, 2014
Focus: Electronic and Mobile Government, ICT for MDGs, Knowledge Management in Government
Country: South Africa
Created: Mar 20, 2014

South Africa’s progress in achieving the MDGs includes:
• Progress in the eradication of extreme poverty and hunger through a social wage package including: free primary health care; no-fee paying schools; social grants, (such as old age pensions, and child support grants) and RDP housing; provision of basic and free basic services in the form of water; electricity; and sanitation to households, particularly those categorised as indigent.
• Universal primary education and compulsory schooling was introduced for the age group 7–15 years. The country has achieved gender parity at the schooling level. Overall, women account for 57.9% of tertiary students with 22% of females in the natural sciences.
• To date there are 44% women in the National Parliament, 42% women in the Cabinet, 38.2% women in local government level and 39% women in the Senior Management ranks in the Public Service compared to a 2.7% representation of women in Parliament before 1994.
• Government has put in place a comprehensive set of initiatives such as the Negotiated Service Delivery Agreement 2010–2024, the Strategic Plan for Maternal, Newborn, Child and Women’s Health, and the Campaign for Accelerated Reduction of Maternal and Child Mortality. One area where South Africa has fared well is its effective campaign of prevention of mother-to-child transmission of HIV, where the rate fell from 8% to 2.7% in 2011.
Xingwana acknowledged that while poverty levels and depth of poverty, inequality, unemployment and hunger in the country are declining, South Africa still faces a range of socio-economic and cultural challenges that continue to underpin aspects of gender inequality, including the scourge of gender-based violence, which impacts negatively on the development and advancement of women and girls.
She pointed that to close this gap the South Africa National Parliament has adopted the Women Empowerment and Gender Equality Bill which is now tabled in the National Council of Provinces. Once enacted, the Bill will accelerate the implementation of other legislation, policies, strategies and programmes to advance the empowerment of women and the achievement of gender equality, and in this way fast track the implementation of the MDGs for women and girls as well as the Beijing Platform for Action.
Deputy Minister of Trade and Industry, Elizabeth Thabethe, said that the fact that South Africa has met and exceeded some of the MDGs ahead of time was a good story to tell and should serve as a motivation to fellow African states that where there is a will there will always be a away.
The 58th Session the CSW commenced on the Monday, 10 March and concludes on Friday, 21 March under the main theme of challenges and achievements in the implementation of the MDGs for women and girls.

The South African delegation led by Minister Xingwana includes the following deputy ministers, Advocate Michael Masutha of Science and Technology and Elizabeth Thabethe, of Trade and Industry, the Commission for Gender Equality, representatives from the civil society and NGOs as well as officials from government departments South Africa has been participating in various activities of the Session including holding bilateral discussion with strategic stakeholders.

The country also showcased some of its flagship projects in line with the review and emerging themes at the 58th Session of the CSW.

On Friday, 14 March South Africa hosted a side event zooming into the Challenges and Impediments in achieving the implementation of MDGs on Education for girls and their training on science and technology under the Theme: The future young women want.

On Monday, 17 March the spotlight fell on economic empowerment and eradication of poverty and hunger under the theme Sharing strategies and best practices to enhance Economic Empowerment and Eradication of Poverty.
For enquiries and interview requests please contact the following people. Do bear in mind that South Africa is six hours ahead of New York when you make requests.
Enquiries:
Tshego Magooa
Cell: 082 499 5826
E-mail: Tshego.Magooa@dwcpd.gov.za or atmagooa@mweb.co.za
Sindiswa Gola
Cell: +1 917 960 4882 from or 001 917 960 4882
E-mail: sindigola@gmail.com
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