By Libuseng Nyaka
QWAQWA – The newly formed Maluti-a-Phofung coalition government reflects glaring gender imbalance with women missing from strategic positions which are all monopolised by men. This despite women constituting the bulk of voters.
The top three positions of mayor, Speaker and chief whip are held by Gilbert Mokotso, Paratlane Motloung and Moeketsi Lebesa, respectively.
Yet, in an interesting turn of events, the opposition is not overly bothered by this anomaly, claiming the complexity of coalition governments. This position alone could be construed as a declaration that the government does not trust women with particularly challenging assignments.
“The dynamics of a coalition government are different from a one-part set up where it is easy to decide on gender quotas decision making positions.”
However, Motloung said his party, the Map16 Civic Movement, did look into the gender issue and decided to fill other positions with women.
Echoing these sentiments, coalition partner Thapelo Lephondo of the African Transformation Movement, insisted at gender equity has been attended to.
“We are deploying a female to the council to participate in the running of Maluti-a-Phofung local municipality.”
Women bear the brunt the low voter turn-out which forced many municipalities to be governed by coalitions, as more men have been elected to strategic positions in some councils.