The department was formed as a result of the termination of the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities. This was done in order to place special focus on the advancement of women and to tackle issues such as education and discrimination that often leave females at the backend.
“In accordance with the reorganisation of some national departments announced by the President in May 2014, the new Department of Women takes over the function of women empowerment and gender equality from the Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities with effect from 1 October 2014,” the Medium Term Budget Policy Statement reported.
“The new department will have a greater focus on women’s’ issues. The old department had three sections (women, children and people with disabilities) which meant that certain issues never received proper attention,” the statement said.
A budget of 184 764 rand has been granted to the new department to assist implementing policies that will affect women both domestically and internationally. The department has allocated the largest portion of its funds towards their Social, Political and Economic Participation and Empowerment programme.
“(Their agenda is to) provide oversight on the implementation of policies related to women empowerment and the elimination of all forms of discrimination against women,” said Treasury.
At this time Treasury sees no major challenges for the department as the issue of finance and inter-control, that were a hindrance in the previous department, no longer bare any weight.