So, the ANC thinks Helen Zille's choice of all men for her Cabinet is a disgrace and a smack in the face for women.
Speaking as a woman I do not agree with them. We have enough tokenism in South Africa as it is, and having fought a hard won battle to gain the Western Cape Helen cannot afford to take people into her Cabinet purely for statistical reasons.
I think it would be a smack in the face to women if, as a woman, she surrounded herself with people who were not as strong as possible for the positions in her Cabinet, just to play lip service. I am sure that if there was a suitably qualified and strong woman in the DA stronghold, that she felt was right for the position, she would have invited her to her Cabinet. To govern the Western Cape on behalf of us - her shareholders in effect - she needs to run it like a business, and no business really [despite pressures and laws to the contrary] needs people who are not equal to the job, particularly in senior positions or on their board.
How many women are in top positions in large corporations and governments around the world? Percentage wise, not many, and this is not just because it is a man's world. It is because there are not that many women who have had the lifelong ambition and focus to climb to the top and stay there.
I am not a feminist, but in the very nature of things, men are the ones who [as a generality] go out to work for their whole lives, whereas [generally] women are the one's who, if they marry and have children, have to focus on other things as well at some stage of their lives. That does not mean women should not hold top positions, just that they tend not to be able to make it to the top and stay there unless they want to live a man's life.
And, there are many women who would be considered for top jobs who have chosen instead to build and run their own businesses and empires instead. If they do this they can have it all generally, but that sort of female entrepreuner does not then necessarily, until later in life, have the time for politics.
So, I applaud Helen Zille for standing her ground and appointing a cabinet based, from her standpoint as the person who has to run this office for the next 5 years - not ours, on the best man for the job. I wish her well, and I really hope that she succeeds. I have no doubt if one of these men does not come up to scratch and a woman is suited to the position and available he will be out and she will be appointed. As it stands she has appointed the best 'man' for the job and that is what business should be about, whether this is politically correct or not.