A competency framework for women empowerment: the case of the local government sector in South Africa

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Gender representativity in political and managerial positions in local government in general and women empowerment in particular remain contentious issues. Although an extensive statutory and regulatory framework for gender equality was established and despite the fact that specific equity targets are set, it is evident that much more needs to be done to facilitate women empowerment in the local government sector. The purpose of this article is to reflect on findings of an empirical survey conducted amongst female politicians, managers, and experts in the local government sector with the aim to design the parameters of a competency framework for women empowerment. The results support the fact that a women empowerment competency framework should incorporate various dimensions and elements, notably sector-specific job requirements, registered gender-based formal programs in the tertiary education sector, as well as content of women empowerment initiatives taken by non-governmental organizations.

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    • Figure 1. Competency framework design and layout: women empowerment program
    • Figure 2. Competency framework for women empowerment
    • Table 1. GEM dimensions and their inherent biases
    • Table 2. Sampled municipalities per province
    • Table 3. Biographical profile of female councilors (target group 1)
    • Table 4. Biographical profile of female officials (target group 1)
    • Table 5. Biographical profile of the reference group (target group 2)
    • Table 6. SAQA registered qualifications in gender and women studies
    • Table 7. Q1: Are you aware of any specifictargeted development programs aimed at women?
    • Table 8. Q1.1: If Yes, what is the nature of these programs – what do they aim to achieve?
    • Table 9. Q1.2. What is the nature of the content of these training and development programs?
    • Table 10. Q2. What would you suggest should receive particular attention in the design of a women empowerment program in local government? What do you think requires further attention or improvement? (target group 1)?
    • Table 11. Q3. What would you suggest should receive particular attention in the design of a women empowerment program in local government? What do you think requires further attention or improvement? (Target group 2)
    • Table 12. Example of key development areas and related topics per area