A gender-specific evaluation framework for the leadership development of women in local government

20 September 2013

Municipalities have put in place gender policies and frameworks to facilitate the participation and engagement of women in local government affairs. Although women have been given the opportunity for self- development through leadership development programmes, they feel marginalised when it comes to decision-making. One may ask why this is the case, given the role played by South Africa’s ratification of the multiple international conventions and declarations on women’s rights. This article argues that even though South Africa’s advancement towards gender equity is held as an example across the world, municipalities find it challenging to recognise gender as an important factor in, specifically, the evaluation of leadership development of women councillors. The argument for a gender-specific evaluation framework is presented to ensure that efforts towards gender equity cascade to leadership development evaluation. The proposed gender-specific evaluation framework considers gender at every step in the evaluation process. The evaluation framework aims at incorporating women’s experiences in evaluation in order to ensure that gender equality is achieved in all facets of life, including leadership development.