The Implementation of Gender Equity and Affirming Disability Mainstreaming in the Public Service and...
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The Implementation of Gender Equity and Affirming Disability Mainstreaming in the Public Service and Provinces

Introduction Mainstreaming in the Public Service and Provinces

  • During our last presentation to this Committee in March 2013, the DPSA reported that the Department had commenced some studies to collect baseline data that would inform gender and disability management programming and, new strategies had been developed to improve departmental performance on the implementation of DPSA Strategic Frameworks and remedial plans for those not meeting employment equity targets. This presentation reports on progress in this regard.

  • In analyzing the institutional mechanisms, roles and responsibilities around gender and women’s empowerment to achieve equity, the DPSA used the SA National Policy Framework for Women’s Empowerment and Gender Equality of 2000 as the point of reference. Other legislation such as the Constitution and the Employment Equity Act were also used as points of reference.

  • For gender, the presentation will provide up to date information on the employment equity reports and the state of gender mainstreaming ( gleaned from the DPSA Gender mainstreaming Survey 2011) . The reports will also address structures intended to support and implement gender programmes, their funding, gaps/challenges in implementing programmes, interventions to date, their impact and the way forward.

  • For disability, the presentation will report on the state of disability mainstreaming in the public service, progress with special focus on the results from some of the remedial initiatives the DPSA adopted to enhance disability mainstreaming.

  • The presentation will also share some of the initiatives the DPSA has adopted to improve the monitoring of the two programmes and departmental compliance rates in reporting on the implementation of the two frameworks .

Framework for transformation
Framework for transformation Mainstreaming in the Public Service and Provinces

Enabling Environment

Equality of Opportunities


Barrier-Free Access

Key pillars in addressing policy, projects and programmes for inclusivity, gender equality and disability Management

Addressing stigma & discrimination

Sensitisation to remove stereotypes and attitudes

Providing adequate resources

Conducting continuous audits and research


Implementation of Sensitive policies

Setting operating standards and procedures

Setting appropriate indicators

Monitoring and evaluation


Providing reasonable accommodation

Provide systematic and uniform guidelines

Participation and Inclusivity

Promoting Human rights and social justice

Promoting equity and equality

Understanding and addressing diverse needs

Status quo gender
Status Quo: Gender Mainstreaming in the Public Service and Provinces

Representation of women in the four levels of sms in the public service
Representation of women in the four levels of SMS in the Public Service

  • At the end of June 2013 there were 9 130 filled SMS positions, women were 3 576 and men 5 554

  • At level 13 there were 6 021 positions, 2 483 were filled by women and men were 3 538

  • At level 14 there were 2 404 positions, women were 854 and men 1 550

  • At level 15 there were 561 positions, women were 203 and men 358

  • At level 16 there were 144 positions, women were 36 and men were 108

  • Of note, it is evident that discrepancies in favour of men still exist.

  • Within the level of SMS, women still show a high concentration at entry level with a decline in numbers at top level.

  • There is no Province that has reached 50%

  • Gauteng however retains its top performing position and Free State retains its lowest performing position.

Gender programme activities

  • In 2011 the DPSA conducted a survey to assess the extent of gender mainstreaming in the Public Service & to obtain baseline information on gender mainstreaming trends, identify critical barriers and areas that need strengthening to advance women’s empowerment and gender equality. The survey report has been printed and distributed .

  • When the DPSA presented the 2011/12 Employment Equity report for the Public Service to Cabinet in November 2012, Cabinet approved the decision to hold DGs accountable for equity targets. The DPSA has since implemented this decision by integrating it in the review process of the PMDS for HODs. This is under consideration by the Minister.

  • Departments hosted the Public Service Women Management Week (PSWMW) meetings during the last week of August 2012 to review progress made in implementation of the HODs 8-Principle Action Plan for Women’s Empowerment & Gender Equality. The compliance rate increased from 11% in 2011 to 61.1% from both National & Provincial Departments.

  • The DPSA provides regular monitoring, evaluation and support for departments to strengthen compliance in the empowerment of women and achievement of gender equality. Departments that have representation of women at SMS below 30% and less than 1% for people with disabilities are supported to develop and implement remedial plans to address identified gaps.

Findings from gender mainstreaming survey
Findings from Gender mainstreaming survey Public Service

  • The Gender Mainstreaming survey showed that 66.6% of departments had gender units. There is no uniformity in staffing and technical expertise. For this reason this does not translate into better mainstreaming of gender in departments.

  • The Gender Mainstreaming survey and PSWMW reports also showed that the location of gender units in departments was not uniform: most of the units were not located in the Office of the DG/HOD as provided for by the National Policy Framework on the Empowerment of Women and Gender Equality.

  • In extreme cases, units that were supposed to coordinate and monitor the provincial programmes were moved to Departments of Social Development, i.e. NW and EC. The NW has since moved the programme back to the Office of the Premier.

  • The staffing of the units is also not uniform, the majority had heads of the units at levels below SMS, with only a few having Directors and Chief Directors as heads.

  • Budgeting for gender mainstreaming is also a challenge for most departments. The report showed that most departments were allocated a budget for the gender unit as opposed to mainstreaming gender into all departmental programmes.

  • The technical skills required to mainstream gender is still very poor, and much of the challenges point to lack of relevant skills and human resources. Many departments are still unable to understand and implement gender mainstreaming effectively.

Policies to create enabling environment
Policies to create enabling environment Public Service

  • The Public Service ensures that gender and disability are mainstreamed into most of the policies, directives, strategies, directives and some of the decisions from the Public Service Coordinating Bargaining Council Resolutions .

  • The Public Service has also ensured that founding documents and services of the GEMS have a bias towards women.

  • At departmental level, it is evident that the required skills to make these policies responsive to women’s empowerment and empowerment of disabled people are lacking. The new school of government will address some of these challenges.

  • Disaggregation of departmental spend is also still not what it should be as it does not enable the DPSA to see how much economic empowerment for these two categories is achieved through procurement processes.

Monitoring evaluation and support
Monitoring, Evaluation and Support Public Service

The DPSA has established good partnerships and working relationships with the following structures to promote effective monitoring and support for the Public Service:

  • Department of Monitoring and Evaluation (DPE) in the monitoring of implementation of equity in the public service (women and people with disabilities). The latest MPAT results show how poorly departments are doing in achieving equity.

  • Commission for Employment Equity (CEE) from Department of Labour, with a resultant agreement that the Commission will increase the number of departments to be reviewed by the DoL Director-General.

    c. Department for Women Children and People with Disabilities (DWCPD), on disability management interventions for the Public Service.

Status quo disability
Status Quo: Disability Public Service

Representation of persons with disabilities at various levels in the public service
Representation of persons with disabilities at various levels in the Public Service

  • At the end of June 2013 there were 1 339 175 people employed in the Public Service and 5 451 were employees with disabilities; Female: 2239 = 41.08%

    Male: 3212 = 58.92%

  • In the Middle Management Service there were 224 employees with disabilities out of 22 044; males were 139 and females 85.

  • There were 9 130 Senior Management positions filled at the end of June 2013 and employees with disabilities occupied 88 of those positions; males were 64 and females 24:

  • Level 13 there were 59 employees with disabilities out of 6 021

  • Level 14 there were 23 employees with disabilities out of 2 404

  • Level 15 there were 6 employees with disabilities out of 561

  • There are no employees with disabilities at level 16 out of 144 positions

Compliance on jobaccess and gender equality strategic frameworks
Compliance on JobAccess and Gender Equality Strategic Frameworks

Reporting on has improved considerably since the compliance formed part of the MPAT process.

  • Western Cape (11 departments submitted, five signed and six not signed)

  • Free State ( 10 departments submitted)

  • Eastern Cape (None)

  • Gauteng (One)

  • KZN (None)

  • Limpopo (None)

  • Mpumalanga  (None)

  • North West (None)

  • Northern Cape (None)

  • National Departments (Three)

  • Tourism

  • StatsSA

  • DPSA 

  • Total:

  • Provincial departments: 22

  • National departments: 03

Analysis of remedial plans
Analysis of remedial plans Frameworks

  • There is an improvement in departments that are implementing remedial plans. Slide 10 above indicates that representation of persons with disabilities has improved in all seven provinces and national departments. Only two provinces remained at the same percentage.

  • In slide 4, improvements were in six provinces and nationally and a decrease in three provinces. These are provinces that also indicated to us that they had moratoria in the filling of SMS positions.

Capacity development
Capacity development Frameworks

  • Discussions have been initiated with the Deaf Institute for the intake of deaf interns that are being trained by the institute.

  • PALAMA has trained 2012, 764 employees in the Disability Management Course and needs to increase this.

Latest developments
Latest developments Frameworks

  • The Policy and Procedures on the Management of Sexual Harassment in the Public Service was approved. Roll out process will commence in November.

  • One of the reports that we get from departments is the reluctance of persons with disabilities to disclose disabilities as they feel the PERSAL questions are discriminatory and too invasive.

  • A process is underway between DPSA and the National Treasury to address this as part of PERSAL clean up. The definition of disability will be based on the UNCRPD and questions on impairments will be based on the Washington Group provisions.

Challenges Frameworks

  • For both disability and Gender, the absence of sector specific legislation makes it difficult to enforce compliance besides the EEA. Some provinces continuously try to find ways of not implementing cabinet decisions on equity targets alleging that cabinet decisions are not binding.

  • The role of the Portfolio Committee on enforcing accountability by departments that are not complying with policies that seek to address equity in the Public Service.

Way forward
Way forward Frameworks

  • There is a perception that the attrition rate of persons with disabilities in the Public Service is very high. The DPSA as part of its work plan this year, will undertake a study to establish the facts as what we know for sure is that persons with disabilities don’t necessarily exit the Public Service; they rotate within departments, and we would like to determine the extent of this rotation and the reasons for this.

  • Consolidation of working relationships with the DPME, DWCPD, PALAMA with special focus on how to best improve gender and disability mainstreaming training

  • Consolidate relationship with the DOL on monitoring of departmental performance around EE through increased DG Reviews.

  • Relationship with the CEE for STATSA to collect more data on disability such as EAP and comprehensive disaggregation which includes disability, race, age and gender.

Thank you
THANK YOU Frameworks