EUSAtraining_032014 (15)Gender Links (GL) has established a not for profit training institution in response to several requests for training by community based organisations and local government functionaries. The South African Institute of Learning (SAIL) assisted GL in meeting the Sector Education & Training Authority (SETA) requirements towards becoming a SAQA accredited training provider. Three courses have been registered: Gender and Media Literacy, Gender Awareness and Gender Analysis for managers. A further course on strengthening institutional practice (planning, monitoring, evaluation, IT, finance, writing and editing) is being developed. As GL expands its work at the local level into economic justice, it plans to add a course component on enterprise, small enterprise and business management. GL’s recognised strength as a trainer is the unique, hands on approach that involves learning-on-the job, that is applied learning that always has tangible outputs and outcomes.

Gender is relatively specialised area and institutions wishing to address gender inequalities through, for example, how they cover women in the media, developing strategies and policies, conducting mainstreaming programmes etc. may not have the required expertise to implement these actions. It is therefore critical that they undergo training in these different focus areas in order to be effective in the implementation of their gender commitments.

ADBbrainstrust_clm_122014 (12)Gender Links (GL) is a regional NGO which promotes equality and justice for women and men in the Southern African Development Community (SADC) region. GL has its head office in South Africa and two satellite offices in Botswana and Mauritius as well as country coordinators in six additional countries (Lesotho, Namibia, Madagascar, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe).

GL’s vision is a Southern Africa in which women and men are able to participate equally in all aspects of public and private in accordance with the 28 targets set in the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development. This is achieved through three closely linked programmes: media, governance and gender justice. Working with partners at local, national, regional and international level, GL aims to:

  • Promote gender equality in and through the media and in all areas of governance.
  • Conduct effective campaigns for ending gender violence, HIV and AIDS.
  • Build the capacity of women and men to engage critically in democratic processes that advance equality and justice.

The accreditation process involved the following:

  • Development and facilitation of institutional accreditation requirements which included adhering to the Occupational Health and Safety Regulations.
  • SAIL worked closely with the ED in developing the unit standards for the three courses.
  • SAIL aligned the three selected GL programmes to the South Africa Qualifications Authority (SAQA) provisions and submitted to the ETDP-SETA
  • SAIL trained seven GL staff members (Kubi Rama, Sikhonzile Ndlovu, Abigail Williams, Loveness Jambaya, Ntombi Mbandlanyana, Susan Tolmay and Vivien Bakainaga) on a 4 day Assessor Course and submitted an application for their registration as assessors to the ETDP-SETA.
  • ETDPSETA conducted a site visit at GL on 31 August 2010 for inspection and verification as part of the institutional audit. GL complied with most of the requirements as a training centre, however there are a few outstanding documents that need to be submitted to the SETA for final approval from the committee.
  • Two GL staff have just completed training to become moderators.
Pilot project
As a way of testing the Training Institute, GL has been conducting an in-house staff training onStages 4&5_ Villages Workshop_RdR_SB_092014 (40) the accredited Gender Courses. A total of 14 staff members from the Head Office voluntarily signed up for the course. The programme started on the 17th of September 2010 with the Gender Awareness course facilitated by the Executive director, Colleen Lowe Morna. 
The modules are very interesting and participatory. Assignments are an integral part of the training and very practical. They involve tackling some of the real work that is being done by GL. Learners will be involved in the 16 days campaigns and will have to tackle a research project ending with a personal account or an Opinion and Commentary piece.Work is done individually and in groups. Assessments focus on one’s performance as an individual and in groups. The learning and assessments are documented through Portfolios of Evidence (PoE).


Gender awareness
Core areas of training have been for women politicians or prospective politicians, providing them with the knowledge and skills that they require to stand for elections, campaign and then deliver on their mandate once elected into office.

Example of clients
GL has been working closely with local councils in the region developing gender and gender based violence strategies and action plans and has been providing councils with training and support. Over the years the organisation has developed a high level of expertise and a number of policy and training resources in this area placing GL in an appropriate position to offer support to councils who would like to mainstream gender internally within the organisation and externally through their service delivery mandate. Gender Links employs the methodology of building capacity as part of policy development. This means that throughout the process staff and management are involved in workshops where they develop gender strategies tailored to the specific needs of their departments. The result of this inclusive methodology is better buy-in to the whole process and more capacity and awareness within the organisation. GL has just been contracted by the UNDP and South African Ministry of Home Affairs to conduct training for 100 councillors in the run up to, and after next year’s elections.

Gender analysis and mainstreaming
The more in-depth course targets senior officials involved in designing and implementing programmes. It is a sector-specific, how to approach that consists of training and on-the-job support.

Example of clients
GL has been working with the City of Johannesburg, one of the main municipalities in South Africa, over the last few years to develop their gender policy and to assist them in mainstreaming gender throughout the organisation. GL also undertook a four month consultancy with the SADC Secretariat in Botswana, supported by the European Union, to develop a tool kit and work with staff in mainstreaming gender in the work of al the sectors. GL undertook a similar process for the UNDP in South Africa.

Gender and media literacy
Training of the media has also been a fundamental component of the work that GL undertakes with the media and has run thematic courses around gender and elections, gender based violence and gender and the economy. Gender Links has developed and regularly runs a Media Literacy programme which is open to the public who but also targets specific groups such as school learners and women politicians, which teaches participants to be critical and active media consumers.

Example of clients
GL has been contracted by the UNDP in Lesotho and Namibia to run courses with the media as well as with women politicians on gender and the media. Gender Links has also recently conducted media training with the Forum for Women in Democracy in Uganda.

Institutional capacity building
There are a range of systems and tools that GL has set up to enhance:

  • Gender mainstreaming
  • Good governance
  • Organisational strategy and planning
  • Human resources, team building and performance management
  • Financial administration and reporting
  • Programme planning and administration
  • Strategic communication
  • Partnerships and coalition building
  • Monitoring and evaluation
Example of clients
GL has been contracted by Diakonia, a Swedish NGO, to help one of its partners, Benchmarks, set up institutional systems.


“I wanted to thank you, on behalf of the UN system in Malawi, for the excellent work done and for the great facilitation of the ToT and the first introductory training. Both us and the participants were extremely pleased and very much inspired by your facilitation and professionalism! We are very much looking forward to working together on the next steps including the updated manual and the follow up session as discussed during our de-briefing session last week. Gender equality is a key focus for the UN in Malawi in support of the national priorities and as such the partnership with Gender Links is a very strategic one. Best regards, Alice and Priscilla” Alice Harding Shackelford, Representative, UN Women Malawi

 “Thank you for giving us a heads up on how we are doing. It is amazing how one can take things for granted.  Colleague were indeed energised by the workshop and I believe are now better informed and looking ahead” Ambassador Mustaq Moorad Regional Director for Africa, International IDEA, Pretoria, South Africa


We often take inspiration from the parable of the talents. We have decided that we should not hide our talents under the bushel, but allow them to multiply in manifold ways. Three years ago, GL invested the surpluses it had generated through prudent financial management in purchasing the GL Cottages, a bed and breakfast facility near our headquarters. Following substantial investment in upgrading this facility, and under dynamic management, we are happy to report in 2014 the GL Cottages doubled its profits. Your chance to contribute to a bigger dream for social justice while getting the best service for your conference and accommodation needs!

GL has recently acquired the Cottages and its adjoining White House in Observatory Johannesburg. Nestled in a beautiful garden, the complex offers the perfect space for residential workshops of up to 30 people. Each room is quiet, private and uniquely designed.

GL also offers two Conferencing Facilities next to each other, situated at 9 Derrick Avenue and 28 Marcia Street, Cyrildene in Johannesburg. Conferencing Facilities accommodate from twenty five up to a maximum of thirty participants. The Conference package includes meeting room (with wireless internet connectivity), morning and afternoon teas, cordials and lunch. Data projector and stationery is also available at a nominal fee. GL has close links with accommodation facilities within walking distance of its training facilities and can offer a full package for off-site participants.




Accredited training

Gender awareness

Understanding sex and gender; gender and sex roles; planning

Gender mainstreaming for managers

Higher level training including strategic planning; gender budgeting; monitoring and evaluation.

Gender and Media literacy

Understanding the media from a gender perspective; media monitoring and research skills; making your own media; holding the media accountable; writing for the media

Tailor made courses

Developing gender policies

Conducting getting buy in; situation analyses; setting up institutional mechanisms; developing policies; implementing policies; monitoring and evaluation

Developing gender aware HIV and AIDS policies

Strategic communications and gender

Conceptualising and developing a strategic communications plan with gender mainstreamed; effective media strategies; mainstreaming media in your work

Writing for the media and gender

How to mainstream gender in writing

Mainstreaming gender in research

How to mainstream gender in research methodology; implementation; analysis; report writing and advocacy

Mainstreaming gender in curriculum development

Auditing curriculum; identifying entry points for gender; lesson plans; assessments

Institutional systems

Financial; IT administration; organisational policies and regulations


Basic IT skills; using MS office; setting up IT systems; website development and management

Monitoring and evaluation

Developing Mand E systems linked to the organisation; programmes; administration; financial and other sub sytems.

For a free consultation and quotation please contact: Anushka Virahsawmy, Regional Training Manager
Phone: (+230) 4674642 / 4674643