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South Africa joins Ethiopia, Rwanda in small club of gender-parity cabinets

South Africa

South Africa’s cabinet announced on Wednesday became the third on the African continent that has an equal number of female and male ministers.

Ramaphosa who hailed the cabinet for making history as the first gender-parity cabinet in the country’s history, joins Ethiopia’s Abiy Ahmed and Rwanda’s Paul Kagame who have taken similar actions.

Ramaphosa’s female ministers include;

  • Thoko Didiza, Minister of Agriculture, Land Reform and Rural Development
  • Angie Motshekga, Minister of Basic Education
  • Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams, Minister of Communications
  • Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Minister of Cooperative Governance and Traditional Affairs
  • Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, Minister of Defence and Military Veterans
  • Barbara Creecy, Minister of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries
  • Lindiwe Sisulu, Minister of Human Settlements, Water and Sanitation
  • Naledi Pandor, Minister of International Relations and Cooperation
  • Maite Nkoana-Mashabane, Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and Persons with Disabilities
  • Patricia De Lille, Minister of Public Works and Infrastructure
  • Khumbudzo Ntshavheni, Minister of Small Business Development
  • Lindiwe Zulu, Minister of Social Development
  • Ayanda Dlodlo, Minister of State Security
  • Nkhensani Kubayi-Ngubane, Minister of Tourism

Rwanda’s commitment to gender-parity

Rwanda, who are global leaders in women’s representation in parliament at 61%, maintained a gender-balanced cabinet in last year’s October reshuffle.

President Kagame told parliament he believes that women play a key role in addressing challenges hindering the socio-economic wellbeing of Rwandans.

‘‘Adding the number of women in these institutions should help in fixing these issues. If there are specific problems that concern girls and women, they should use all the tools available to make a difference,’‘ Kagame said.

SUGGESTED READING: Kagame urges new MPs to protect Rwanda’s sovereigntyEthiopia’s historic cabinet

Reformist prime minister, Abiy Ahmed has been hailed for making bold moves since taking office in April last year, including making peace with Eritrea.

Abiy’s inclusion of women in key government positions of government has been particularly lauded. Abiy in October appointed a cabinet with 10 male and 10 female ministers, and has also appointed a female chief justice, president, and electoral commission chief.

READ MORE: Ethiopia PM lauded for promoting gender parityGlobally, there are 11 countries that have named gender-balanced cabinets over the past four years, including Canada, Colombia and Costa Rica. France, Nicaragua, Seychelles, Spain and Sweden are the rest.

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