Boitumelo Mofokeng, South Africa

17 October 2005

I've not been posting but visiting the Blog site to learn what and how others are sharing. Few steps back...

 Is it worth interrogating UN structures to see the exact number of women and the significance of the positions they hold. I'm wary of counting heads but not the weight they command to make it worthwhile for other women.

The same will go with national and local government structures. Kemi from Accord has already shared about the representation of women in South Africa. One of the key areas of achievement for us was not to have "Women's Ministry" but have Commission on Gender Equality (CGE) which is doing far better than handling "women's issues" but real gender equality. Women are well represented in the Presidency through the Office of Status of Women (OSW). The NGO movement is under resourced but still recognised as critical civil society stakeholders.

In brief, South Africa brewed homegrown visions and solutions to address the imbalances of the past. We will perfect the imperfections of our learning processes.

Maybe UN is more at government/state relations. Ordinary people on the ground relate to their home compatriots as the government they know and trust that it relates to other international bodies such as UN.

Eleven years into our democracy, I have never heard of Resolution 1325. I might be exposing my ignorance but the bread and butter issues that make for meaningful democracy are more critical than statistical "1325" matters.

My next round of challenge is as an activist that participated in the liberation struggle, is to start raising awareness about succession plan to ensure that the gains of 1994, 1999, 2004 2005 national and local government elections through both participation in voting and election of women in key ministries is not lost with international embrace and foreign recipes for inclusive governments.

Such resolutions will be informed by local actions such as protecting girl-child from all forms of violations. I'm managing a launch of a project that is protecting girl-child from increased trauma of facing sexual offenses perpetrators in court. The project is transforming sexual offences courts to be child-centred, user-friendly and protective of these future women leaders. The initiative has accelarated convictions and healing of the survivors and their families. This is what is on my door step, can resolution 1325 deliver this justice for these innocent little ones?

My next posting will be about UN presence in my country - maybe we are looking at Resolution 1325 and yet, we should be asking how is what we have working for or against us.

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