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from the draft SADC Protocol on Gender and Development
Chingamuka, Women in Development Southern Africa Awareness (WIDSAA)
Extracted from Gender and Development Exchange Quarterly Newsletter
Issue 40 (October-December 2006)
The draft SADC
Protocol on Gender and Development has several measurable targets
to be undertaken within the timeframe of 2010 to 2020.
This is in response
to concerns that previous frameworks on gender lacked timeframes
for meeting the desired goals.
The draft SADC
Protocol proposes that Member States be mandated to submit progress
reports highlighting achievements in implementing targets that will
be set in the protocol on a regular basis.
Issues on constitutional
and legal rights, governance, education and training, productive
resources and employment, gender-based violence, health, HIV and
AIDS, peace building and conflict resolution, media, information
and communication, institutional framework and monitoring and evaluation
are addressed in the draft protocol.
rights, the Protocol proposes that Member States enshrine gender
equality in their constitution and ensure that gender equality takes
precedence over their customary, religious and other laws by 2010.
democratic governance, Members States shall ensure that women hold
50 percent of decision-making positions in the public and private
sector by 2020. Other components include the proposal to establish
legislative provisions to ensure that women candidates are fielded
for election by political parties; and that women participate equally
with men in all electoral processes including in the administration
of elections and voting.
To promote economic
empowerment of women, proposals have been made for implementation
of policies to ensure equal participation by women and men in policy
formulation and mainstream gender in economic policies.
To enable women
to establish and sustain enterprises, the draft Protocol proposes
that favourable and enabling financial procurement policies be established
within given timeframes.
by the Women In Development Southern Africa Awareness (WIDSAA) programme
in 2005 on the performance of SADC countries in promoting women?s
access to, and control over productive resources, revealed that
women , especially those in rural areas, lack control over means
of production and experience limited access to credit and capital.
In some countries,
the financial resources targeted for women are inadequate and men
tend to exploit the situation, particularly where husbands have
to be consulted by spouses in order to gain access to credit.
This is exacerbated
by the negative cultural attitudes that many banks have towards
women borrowers, despite the existence of non-discriminatory policies.
The draft Protocol
proposes that SADC countries end all discrimination against women
with regard to property and land rights, and ensure that there is
equal access to credit and capital by women and men by 2015.
On equal access
to employment, the draft proposes that countries establish legislative
measures prohibiting the denial of full pay and other benefits to
women while they are on maternity leave.
southern Africa have different policies regarding maternity leave
such as full, three-quarter, and half pay during the three to six
months leave. South Africa offers the longest maternity leave of
The draft Protocol
proposes that countries conduct timeuse studies by 2010 and adopt
policy measures to reduce the burden of the multiple roles played
there are proposals for States to develop and integrate subsidised
training programmes that will facilitate the creation and sustainability
of women's entrepreneurial opportunities as well as enhancement
of women's entrepreneurial skills.
policies, the Protocol proposes that Member States incorporate gender
in all trade policies and establish mechanisms to ensure equal access
by men and women to financial and other markets including trade
On media, information
and communication, the draft proposes the introduction of laws which
will ensure universal access for women and men to information and
communication technologies, and all forms of media in languages
and formats that are accessible and affordable to them, and will
enable them to take informed decisions, as well as participate fully
as citizens in all democratic processes.
To protect women
and men against HIV and AIDS infection and other sexually transmitted
infections contracted as a result of any sexual violation, the draft
proposes that States ensure that all health facilities in their
territories administer post-exposure prophylaxis to prevent the
onset of the infection.
The draft proposes
that Member States take necessary steps to halt and begin to reverse
the spread of HIV and AIDS by 2015.
institutional framework the draft proposes for the establishment
of a SADC Commission on the Status of Women, and a Regional Gender
Advisory Group comprising eminent gender experts from the region
, in addition to the existing Gender Unit within SADC Secretariat.
the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development
- To bring
together in one legally binding regional instrument all the commitments
to gender equality that have been made through, amongst others,
the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, the SADC Declaration
on Gender and Development and its Addendum, the Convention on
the Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW),
the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and People's Rights
on the Rights of Women in Africa, and the Millennium Development
- To address
emerging gender issues and concerns; Set realistic, measurable
targets, time frames and indicators, and allocate resources for
achieving the goals that will be set;
- To strengthen,
monitor and evaluate the progress made by Member States towards
reaching the targets and goals set in the protocol;
- To create
a fora for involving all stakeholders and sharing best practices
in the implementation of the protocol; and
- To deepen
regional integration, sustainable development, and community building.
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