Gender-Balanced Cabinet Appointed in South Africa
Last week, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa announced his new cabinet, appointing women to head half of the ministries for the first time in history. South Africa joins 10 countries which have achieved gender parity in government cabinets worldwide, including most recently Ethiopia and Rwanda. Many of the new women ministers are familiar faces in South African politics, including Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma—a former Minister of Health, Foreign Affairs, and Home Affairs—now leading cooperative governance and traditional affairs, opposition politician Patricia de Lille heading public works and infrastructure, and former parliamentary chairwoman Thoko Didiza overseeing public lands and agriculture.
Canada Announces New Fund for Global Gender Equality
On Sunday, Canadian Development Minister Maryam Monsef announced the creation of an “Equality Fund,” an initiative to fund women’s rights organizations in Canada and around the world. The fund aims to reach $1 billion over 15 years, and was kicked off with a $300 million investment from the Canadian government for women’s organizations in the developing world. An additional $30 million of government funds will go towards supporting indigenous women in Canada. The announcement coincides with the release of the final report of a national inquiry on violence against indigenous women. Canadian police recorded 1,181 causes of murdered or missing indigenous women between 1980 and 2012—a homicide rate six times higher than for non-indigenous women.
SDG Gender Index Shows Slow Progress
A new SDG Gender Index, launched this week by EqualMeasures 2030, shows that no country is on track to achieve gender equality by 2030. The dataset measures countries’ progress in fulfilling gender equality commitments in the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), tracking over 50 issues ranging from gender-based violence to climate change. These include both specific commitments to gender equality and issues that disproportionately affect women and girls. The Index finds countries must dramatically increase their efforts to advance equality. Eighty percent of countries score in the poor and very poor ranges, and 40 percent of women and girls live in countries which fail to guarantee basic measures of gender equality.