Women’s Policy:

The DDF do not have a women’s policy per se, but but instead it could be said that the DDF have many women’s policies. We thought it would be useful to outline some of the benefits of DDF policies for women:

Benefits for women of the DDF Security policy:

The DDF is very aware of the issues facing Women and Children in SA. That these problems are not unique to SA is of no comfort to the victims of Gender Based Violence, Child Abuse and Human Trafficking. DDF security policies at the very least are intended to provide the resources required to tackle these issues, DDF security policy specifically undertakes to provide the necessary funding, staff, training and resources needed to see that none of these crimes go unpunished and to make possible perpetrators think twice before committing such criminal acts.

Benefits for women of the DDF Senate policy:

10 women would specifically have equal power within the Senate as the other 390 or so Senators, so they would have in their hands the power to block (veto) misogynistic legislation or regulation, real or imagined, and to influence legislation and regulation that can directly and equally benefit women along with any other sector (peer group) within South Africa.

The 10 young adults (aged 13 to 18 years) peer group would share the same powers as the women’s peer group and while at present there is no plan for gender parity within that peer group, it is not impossible, with implications for the safety and welfare of young women in the general population. It is also conceivable to have a peer group for young men and a peer group for young women (13 to 18 years) instead of a single peer group for both.

Benefits for women of the DDF Universal Basic Income Grant policy and Sovereign Wealth Fund:

The most obvious benefit is that no woman, of any age but particularly for young women starting out in life, would need to prostitute herself, literally or figuratively, from fear of poverty. It would provide some financial security for women, being access to a secure if modest income. This would be particularly useful during the early stages of life but also in the latter stages of their lives. A woman would not be exclusively dependent upon retirement benefits by virtue of marriage or some or other male sponsor. It would also be useful for ‘stay-at-home’ housewives and mothers and would be useful as a source of capital for cottage (work from home) industries. In fact a UBI could be the most liberating thing to happen to women perhaps in all of mankind’s history.

It is intended that the proposed Sovereign Wealth Fund, an investment fund in which all adult South Africans have an equal share, will, in the fullness of time, fund in part or in full, the UBI and the Advancement Grants (See below). The benefit would be lifelong.

Benefits for women of the DDF National Health Insurance Scheme policy:

This scheme is bought and paid for by a deduction from the UBI, and again, is a lifelong benefit. As with the UBI, it is universal and unconditional.

Benefits for women of the DDF Advancement Grant policy:

This scheme is intended to pay to everyone, the equivalent of a four year professional degree. As with the UBI, it is universal and unconditional and is intended to advance the affairs of each recipient in whatever manner is most meaningful for them. This provides a degree of independence and access to life’s choices that are not generally available to any but the elite in most of today’s societies. This benefit is a ‘once in a life-time’ benefit.

Benefits for women of the DDF Electoral Reforms Policy:

These reforms are intended to give independent candidates equal access to the electoral process, both as candidates and voters, at all levels of government, and divorces candidates from the ‘old boys clubs’ of party politics, and are gender blind, so women will have an equal chance to be nominated, stand and be elected to all levels of assemblies, local or national. As each candidate receives equal funding and support from the electoral system, it is a means of levelling the political playing field.

Benefits for women of the DDF Civics Involvement in all levels of government policy.

Women are often the ones who bear the greatest burden from failures of government, local and national. Women also are often the largest gender group in Civics, which largely are powerless in the face of official indifference or incompetence. The DDF policies involving Civics in local and national government 1) Highlight and record failures in service delivery 2) Assign responsibility to the public servants, elected and appointed, involved in those failures, 3) which data is publicly available and can be used in support of 1) Recall Votes for elected officials and 2) Impeachment proceedings for appointed public servants (see electoral reforms). This makes civics powerful bodies and the women in civics powerful women, instead of being powerless.

Benefits for women of DDF Collaborative Democracy policies.

The DDF are proposing an on-line public forum for proposals, debate and voting of matters of public (mostly legislative) concern. Women who feel sidelined in the legislative process can put up proposals (eg: Tax men double), enter into debates (eg: this is a bad idea) and vote the proposal up or down. Proposals which reach a given level of approval can trigger bills before Parliament / Municipal councils and or local or national referendums on the proposal/s. This is similar to the DDF policy of written petitions presented by members of the public used as a trigger for bills before parliament and or municipal councils and or National or Local Referendums.

It should be noted that while all these policies benefit women, they are not intended exclusively to do so but rather are a result of a general intention to empower everyone equally and to advance the cause of democracy, particularly in the face of encroaching globalisation and the aftermath of the covid 19 pandemic response and, importantly, in response to the 4th industrial revolution, which is seeing and will continue to see formal employment in public and private sector economies decline, and these policies will enable local communities to engage in local government and local economies (a third sector economy replaces the declining first and second formal public and private sector economies). These too will help women, who largely find themselves responsible for the necessities of life for themselves and their children, often without the means to do so.

Anyone wanting to read more about this latter phenomenon can read the paper Democracy at Risk, available on the DDF publications page.

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