SADC gender activists want action and results!

SADC gender activists want action and results!

Date: March 7, 2017
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Johannesburg, 8 March: The Southern African Gender Protocol Alliance calls on governments to finalise the Monitoring, Evaluation and Results (MER) Framework accompanying the Post 2015 SADC Protocol on Gender and Development as part of their International Women’s Day (IWD) commitments.

In August 2016 2015, Southern African Development Community (SADC) Heads of State adopted an updated Protocol in line with the Sustainable Development Goals.

But the Alliance of 25 civil society organisations that lobbied for this instrument and now its updating notes with great concern that the Monitoring, Evaluation and Results (MER) framework that they committed to has still not been developed.

“It is now almost a year and a half since the adoption of the SDGs. It is time to start counting,” said Sifisosami Dube, Regional Alliance and Partnerships Mananger.

Dube added that the SADC Gender Unit Secretariat should expedite the process of finalising the MER to ensure a systematic approach of measuring gender progress. She noted that of particular concern is the lack of standard indicators to measure gender based violence. The SADC region needs to heavily invest in this area to eliminate GBV in line with the Post 2015 Gender Protocol and the SDGs.

The call made by the Alliance comes at a crucial moment as IWD is being celebrated under the theme #BeBoldForChange which is a plea to governments, civil society, private sector and ordinary citizens to make bold moves within their spheres of influence in ensuring the achievement of economic gender justice by 2030.

According to the United Nations (UN) only 50 per cent of working age women are represented in the labour force globally, compared to 76 per cent of men. What’s more, an overwhelming majority of women are in the informal economy, subsidising care and domestic work, and concentrated in lower-paid, lower-skill occupations with little or no social protection.

Women’s economic gender justice will take centre stage next week when UN member’s states, civil society and gender activists will converge in New York, United states for the Commission of the Status of Women (CSW61) to be held under the theme “Women’s economic empowerment in the changing world of work”.

High on the agenda at the two-week annual conference to be held from 13 to 24 March will be the following issues:

  • The gender inequalities in labour markets and the world of work as well as recognizes the pace and scale of transformation towards realising women’s economic empowerment in a changing world of work.
  • The significant gender gaps in labour force participation and leadership, wages and income, pensions, as well as occupational segregation, social norms and workplace culture, unequal working conditions and women’s burden of unpaid domestic and care work, gaps in social protection, and the growing informality and precarious nature of women’s employment
  • How structural barriers to women’s economic empowerment can be compounded by multiple and intersecting forms of inequalities and discrimination in the private and public spheres, and how these barriers are exacerbated in conflict and post conflict, refugee and humanitarian settings, as well as disability.
  • The empowerment of indigenous women

Africa Union Gender Ministers who met in January in Addis Ababa ahead of CSW 61 noted that; “by the end of this decade, three-quarters of employed women are expected to remain as unpaid workers on family-owned farms, or similar family-based ventures in the informal sector. This leaves them with no social protection and safety nets, nor any prospects for growth of their status from their productive activities. Without addressing these issues, the achievement of SDG 5 and its targets by 2030 will remain elusive.”

Click here for more pictures on the IWD 2017 campaign 

(For more information on this press release and the International Women’s Day social media campaign contact the Alliance Advocacy and Network Building Coordinator , Lucia Makamure on  or call 011 6222 877 ext 206)

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