Not enough women lead SA political parties, says Patricia de Lille


GOOD party leader Patricia de Lille voiced her concerns about women not being represented enough in leadership positions in parliament.

De Lille is the only female leader of a political party in parliament. She is the founder and leader of the GOOD party, which was formed in 2018.

De Lille said her inspiration to start her own party stemmed from her desire to become the first woman in SA to start a political party and gain seats in all three spheres of government.

The GOOD party is one of the political parties that received a minority of votes during the recent elections, with only one seat in parliament. Parliament has 43.5% women MPs and 56.5% men after the May 29 elections.

“Thirty years later, when I looked at the ballot paper, I could see it was dominated by male faces. Maybe South Africans are not ready for a female president,” De Lille said.

Though the country has made efforts to bridge the gender gap in parliament, 30 years into democracy De Lille was not satisfied with the number of women who lead political parties.

“We are doing well as a country in terms of women representativity, but where we are failing substantially is to get women to lead political parties.”

“We said we must make sure we up the fight against patriarchy in society, but I’m still the only woman leading a political party,” De Lille said.

She emphasised the challenges she faced as a woman taking the lead in the political space, but encouraged women to keep fighting.

“I will be the first to say it’s tough. You have to balance your family life, earn an income and campaign, and it’s not very easy. I can say to the women who participated in the elections, don’t give up, continue to fight and build.” 

In a political landscape often dominated by men, De Lille said though she has always been outnumbered, she would continue to fight for what was best for the country.

“I’ve become used to it over many years from my trade union days. I put up a good fight for what is best for our country, and though I’m alone in parliament, I can assure people I will fight against poverty, inequality, gender-based violence and femicide that have become a pandemic in our country.”

Regarding a government of national unity, the GOOD party leader confirmed her party had received a call from ANC secretary-general Fikile Mbalula for consultations, and had agreed to meet.

TimesLIVE





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