Today there is a committee for the caucus at council level and Audrey Mosupyoe, a participant in ICLD:s Local Political Leaders training, has had an impact on the decision to start a women caucus in the City of Tshwane:
“My expectations of the women’s caucus is, that in addition to meeting it’s mandate – that will be adopted by council – it must empower young women employees in the city and expose them to as many opportunities in politics as possible so they are better able to assist their political leaders”, she says.
The process of initiating a women caucus in the city of Tshwane all started at a ICLD workshop within the Local Political Leaders training programme workshop. Jordan Griffiths realized the benefits of a caucus – and acted.
– After speaking with our Cheif Wip of Council I was referred to our Speaker of Council, Katlego Mathebe and engaged her office. Essentially I just sent through my thoughts on the usefulness of such a caucus. I was not active in the planning behind it to be honest., merely a voice supporting its creation,” he says.
Sometimes one voice can make a difference for an important part of the population. Sometimes it takes the joint effort of several voices:
“The role and importance of the ICLD-workshop in the process of initiating our woman Caucus has been very helpful and insightful. I was able to influence the traction, the direction and ultimately the program. Thankfully the Chief Whip’s Office agreed with us that we incorporate ICLD Program teachings in our program”, says Audrey Mosupyoe.
How much of a ground breaker is the fact that there is a women caucus about to take shape in the city of Tshwane, Jordan?
“I currently know of no other established women’s caucus that is made up of multiple political parties in the country, although I stand to be corrected on this.”
Audrey, what do you think a women caucus can accomplish?
“One of the main responsibilities of the women’s caucus is to influence policy direction and implementation of by-laws to properly serve women in our city. However, it will also engage in foundation work outside council. It must ensure that the council budget is women- and child-biased.”
What role will you have in the caucus?
“I don’t have a specific role as yet because we only have a committee at council level however, I am in the Provincial Women”s Caucus and am a Commissioner. Our role is to guide council women’s caucuses where I am part of the program development team”, she says.
She says the caucus must develop a program that supports women councillors, in order to find a balance between discharging their work as politicians and being wives and mothers.
Have there been any changes to the better in empowering women in your city over the past year?
“There have been changes in the empowering of women, but there’s still a lot of work to be done. The approach must be consolidated and part of a program.”
The caucus can be a strong avenue for women councillors to demonstrate a united voice on particularly issues. A women’s caucus could be useful for the City of Tshwane.
Jordan, what are your expectations of the women caucus?
“I hope that the caucus will be a crucial platform to enhance service delivery in the city.”