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Since 1994, local government in South Africa has become more important than ever before. It has been described as the 'hands and feet' of government, and is expected to play a key role in development.
But to what extent does local government support women's empowerment and gender equity? Do integrated development plans (IDPs), which give strategic direction to the work of a municipality, benefit gender equity or women's rights?
The political freedoms ushered in by the post 1994 transition were seen at that time as the basis for redressing long-standing economic deprivations suffered by the majority of the population. The reduction of poverty, in all its dimensions, was the goal.