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The institutionalization of the Gender Commission and the Resultant Policy Framework

Proclaimed by Resolution no. 6 of the 2006 National Congress of CONSAWU


Considering that the Constitution of SA is based on the fundamental principles of human dignity, equality and freedom and which further proclaims, that all are equal before the law and are entitled to the full and equal protection of the law without distinction, acknowledges the supremacy of the Constitution and the enshrined democratic principle of the rule of law.

Taking into account that s.9 of the constitution to achieve the notions of formal and substantive equality through the mechanism of affirmative action and further, taking into account the international instruments adopted by agencies such as the Conventions and Recommendations of the International Labour Organisation. The United Nations Declarations on the Elimination of all Forms of Racial Discrimination and the declaration of race and racial prejudice adopted by the United Nations Educational Scientific and Cultural Organization in the focus area of gender discrimination, adopts the gender commission/ as an institutionalized structure within its fold.

Noting that the express purpose of such would be to promote and achieve co-operation by encouraging a respect for fundamental human rights and especially gender rights not only at affiliate level, but with all those who CONSAWU interacts with, be it Government or non-government agencies and instruments.


Whilst recognizing the inalienable right of all South African to equality, freedom and human dignity and that these are universal and interdependent irrespective of any distinction of any kind, CONSAWU takes cognizance of the discriminatory ideology of the apartheid regime, based on the doctrines of separatism and racial superiority which sought to dehumanize South African society at large and therefore will categorically oppose unfair discriminatory practices.

CONSAWU affirms its commitment to eliminating all forms of discrimination especially gender discrimination not only within its own structures, but the communities it serves through the promulgation and propagation of its philosophy and policy statements.


1.1 To protect the rights of all its members against any form of unfair discrimination,especially gender discrimination.

1.2 To monitor gender affirmation initiatives in the context of the constitutional and legislative framework of the country.

1.3 To support anti-discrimination transformative mechanisms an instruments.

1.4 To educate its broad membership to achieve the goal of a democratic society based on the principles of human dignity, freedom and equality.

1.5 To promote the concept of gender mainstreaming not only within its structures, but within the communities it serves.

1.6 To re-orientate perceptions of gender through a process of socialization by focusing on cultural, socio-political and economic factors that promotes differentiation / discrimination on the grounds of sex and or sexual orientation.


The purpose of this policy statement is to affirm the rights of CONSAWU membership based on:


2.1.1. CONSAWU may not discriminate on the basis of sex and or sexual orientation and that all members shall be treated equally.

2.1.2CONSAWU may not deny membership to any person who qualifies or applies for membership on the basis of sex and or sexual orientation.

2.4.3 CONSAWU will strongly condemn and or counteract any forms of gender discrimination/harassment within its own structures and the communities it serves.


CONSAWU supports the notion of affirmative action and regards it as a fundamental principle in the achievement of a democratic society based on human dignity, freedom and equality. CONSAWU will monitor and evaluate all affirmative action measures on the following grounds:

– Advancement of the historically disadvantaged on merit and on suitable qualification.

– Employment practices/policies whether direct or indirect that seeks to impede gender equality.

– Diversification of the workplace in terms of equal employment opportunities based on equal dignity and respect for all people.


3.1 CONSAWU will support gender mainstreaming in all its contexts in the workplace and within the communities it serves.

3.2 CONSAWU will counter any exploitive practice that denies women and men access to social justice.

3.3 CONSAWU will support and encourage gender policy statements not only within its affiliates, but the communities it serves.


4.1.CONSAWU undertakes a sustained awareness campaign that will address amongst others:

– Access to education for all children, especially the girl child.

– Challenging misconceptions as well as socio-economic and cultural practices that impede gender equality.

4.2. Lobbying for social justice in respect to women for example social grant, access to amenities workplace, crèche facilities, paid maternity leave.


5.1. To acknowledge that gender inequality is a structural feature in our society in the socio- economic and cultural contexts.

5.2 To identify socio-economic and cultural practices that impedes gender equality and counteract them.

5.3 To develop anti-discrimination strategies which especially focus on gender discrimination through the process of information sharing in order to achieve a society that is gender sensitive.

5.4 To lobby support for the development of workplace policy statements.

5.5 To combat anti-discriminatory practices especially gender discrimination through the process of empowerment. REVIEW This policy will be reviewed from time to time to accommodate changed circumstances. APPLICATIONS This policy applies to CONSAWU and its affiliate members.