Following the elections and President Jacob Zuma's recent cabinet appointments, South Africa has missed its last opportunity - so tantalizingly close - to achieve gender parity in politics ahead of the 2015 deadline.
The 50% target for women's representation in all areas of decision-making is enshrined in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Gender and Development adopted in South Africa in 2008.
South Africa came under the spotlight at the SADC Protocol@Work summit today, where the theme is "50/50 by 2015, and a strong post- 2015 agenda." The summit brings together 350 activists and government officials from across the region in the final countdown to 2015 - the deadline for the 28 targets of the Protocol.
Women's representation in parliament dropped from 44% in the 2009 elections to 40% in the 7 May polls, while that of women in provincial legislatures dropped from 41% to 37%. Following the announcement of the new cabinet at the weekend, women in cabinet remain at 41%. The proportion of women premiers dropped from 55% in 2009 to 22% in 2014. In the 2011 local elections, women's representation dropped from 40% to 38%.