Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre

Gender: An election issue?

So are women an election issue? Media doesn’t seem to think so. During the last national elections in 2009, Media Monitoring Africa (MMA) research showed that gender issues featured in just 1% of election stories. Some statistics about women in South Africa:
  • Women make up 51% of the population*
  • A South African woman’s average income is less than half that of a man**
  • Women get paid a third less than men for similar work**
  • 45% of female-headed households live below the poverty line***
  • 400 in every 100,000 women will die in child birth or from pregnancy related complications****
  • 1 in 5 women aged 15-49 are HIV positive – double the national average*
  • Interpol ranks South Africa as the world leader in rape
  • 1 in 4 men have admitted to raping a woman*****
  • 2 in 5 men have admitted to physically abusing their wife or female partner*****
  • 68,332 sexual assaults were reported to police last year******
  • Only 1 in 9 rapes are reported to the police*******
  • Only 4% of rape complaints result in a conviction
  • Human Rights Watch describes so-called ‘corrective’ rape as an epidemic
  • Lesbian activist Noxolo Nogwaza was stoned, raped and killed on Easter Sunday
  • Last Thursday a 13 year old lesbian girl was raped in Pretoria
  On Wednesday 11th May 2011 at 12pm Janine Hicks (Commission on Gender Equality) and Lisa Vetten (Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre) will make the case for why gender should be an issue in the looming local elections. MMA, Open Society Foundation, The Daily Maverick, Frayintermedia and GenderMattersZA are teaming up with the Commission on Gender Equality and Tshwaranang Legal Advocacy Centre to launch the third “Piercing the Promises: Election Accountability Pack” for journalists. This pack aims to arm media with crucial questions on gender that will allow the electorate to hold local election candidates accountable. Join us in person or on twitter for this, the last #MMAEAP tweet-up! Location: Frayintermedia, Suite252, second floor Dunkeld West Centre, corner of Jan Smuts Avenue and Bompas Road, Dunkeld, Johannesburg. Time: 12pm – 1pm Date: Wednesday 11th May 2011 Hashtag: #MMAEAP Follow: @gendermattersza and @mediamattersza For more information contact: Sandra Banjac Research Development Officer Mb: +2782 633 4233 Tel: +2711 788 1278 sandrab@mma.org.za William Bird Director Mb: +2782 887 1370 Tel: +2711 788 1278 williamb@mma.org.za *Statistics South Africa Mid-year Population Estimates 2010 **World Economic Forum Global Gender Gap 2009 report ***Statistics South Africa ****Countdown to 2015 – Decade Report 2000 - 2010 *****Preventing Rape and Violence in South Africa: Call for Leadership in a New Agenda for Action. Medical Research Council ******SAPS Crime Statistics 2010 *******1 in 9 Campaign

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