South Africa's public service sector will reach its target of 50 per cent women in senior management positions by March 2009, says Minister of Public Services and Administration Geraldine Fraser-Moleketi.
Research conducted by the Governance and Administration cluster found that women within the senior management service had increased from eight per cent in 1995 to 33 per cent last year in response to the Cabinet's request that the cluster reflects on the outcomes and impact of the implementat ion of the Programme of Action.
Speaking at the Governance and Administration cluster briefing on Tuesday, Fraser-Moleketi said although this was well below the target of 50 per cent, by March 2009 she believed the 50 per cent target could be met.
"We will be doing extensive work on this. For example, in August last year there was a Cabinet decision to include in performance contracts of directors-general the increase in recruitment of women to senior positionsm," she added.
Fraser-Moleketi said there were environmental factors, such as lack of facilities conducive to breast feeding, which prevented women from serving at a senior level.
She also believed that women of child-bearing age sometimes felt that they could not meet the big demands of senior positions which would have implications on parenting.
"Although we are gender sensitive in this country it is clear that parenting is still mostly the role of the women. But I believe that there were policy frameworks in place to ameliorate the 50 per cent figure by next year," the minister said.