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Commission for Gender Equality Act, 1996 (Act No. 39 of 1996)

11. Powers and functions of Commission

 

 

(1) In order to achieve its object referred to in section 187 of the Constitution, the Commission
(a) shall monitor and evaluate policies and practices of—
(i) organs of state at any level;
(ii) statutory bodies or functionaries;
(iii) public bodies and authorities; and
(iv) private businesses, enterprises and institutions,

in order to promote gender equality and may make any recommendations that the Commission deems necessary;

(b) shall develop, conduct or manage—
(i) information programmes; and
(ii) education programmes,

to foster public understanding of matters pertaining to the promotion of gender equality and the role and activities of the Commission;

(c) shall evaluate—
(i) any Act of Parliament;
(ii) any system of personal and family law or custom;
(iii) any system of indigenous law, customs or practices; or
(iv) any other law,

in force at the commencement of this Act or any law proposed by Parliament or any other legislature after the commencement of this Act, affecting or likely to affect gender equality or the status of women and make recommendations to Parliament or such other legislature with regard thereto;

(d) may recommend to Parliament or any other legislature the adoption of new legislation which would promote gender equality and the status of women;
(e) shall investigate any gender-related issues of its own accord or on receipt of a complaint, and shall endeavour to—
(i) resolve any dispute; or
(ii) rectify any act or omission,

by mediation, conciliation or negotiation: Provided that the Commission may at any stage refer any matter to—

(aa) the Human Rights Commission to deal with it in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and the law;
(bb) the Public Protector to deal with it in accordance with the provisions of the Constitution and the law; or
(cc) any other authority,

whichever is appropriate;

(f) shall as far as is practicable maintain close liaison with institutions, bodies or authorities with similar objectives to the Commission, in order to foster common policies and practices and to promote cooperation in relation to the handling of complaints in cases of overlapping jurisdiction or other appropriate instances;
(g) shall liaise and interact with any organisation which actively promotes gender equality and other sectors of civil society to further the object of the Commission;
(h) shall monitor the compliance with international conventions, international covenants and international charters, acceded to or ratified by the Republic, relating to the object of the Commission;
(i) shall prepare and submit reports to Parliament pertaining to any such convention, covenant or charter relating to the object of the Commission;
(j) may conduct research or cause research to be conducted to further the object of the Commission;
(k) may consider such recommendations, suggestions and requests concerning the promotion of gender equality as it may receive from any source.

[Subsection (1) substituted by section 5 of Act No. 17 of 2013]