Gender Equity in the Workplace
“The practice of gender discrimination is largely based on outdated values. All men are born from women”. It was quite clear that Ms Mymoena Karriem’s presentation at a Gender Sensitisation workshop did raise a few eyebrows but attendees soon started acknowledging that there is no place for gender discrimination in the workplace.
The aim of the workshop, held on 24 June 2013, was to emphasise the constitutionally guaranteed right of gender equity, to broaden the knowledge base regarding gender politics and to review one’s own gender perspective.
Ms Karriem, a practising psychologist, focused on the respective sexual and gender identities and how one needs to develop an understanding and respect for alternative (not stereotypical) gender roles. In the same way that we respect cultural diversity, we also have to tolerate and respect non-heterosexual colleagues.
The lack of substantial progress towards gender equality can be attributed to a deep-rooted patriarchal society. It is clear that any change regarding this conservative attitude would have to be brought about by the dominant gender.
Project manager, Ms Liezl Jansen, said that the Department of Cultural Affairs and Sport (DCAS) will conduct more workshops to create a modern organisation that is sensitive to the requirements of the constitution, in accordance with the needs of the broader society.