While there has been some visible progress in attaining gender equality in the 15 countries of the SADC Community, notably in education and political decision making, there is still a long way to go to achieve the 28 targets of the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development.
In August 2008, Heads of State of the Southern African Development Community adopted the ground-breaking SADC Protocol on Gender and Development. This followed a concerted campaign by NGOs under the umbrella of the Southern Africa Gender Protocol Alliance.
Although by the 2009 summit, 3 countries had still not yet signed, and none had ratified the Protocol, the clock is ticking to 2015 when governments have 28 targets that they will have to account for. In keeping with the Alliance slogan: “The Time is Now”, this baseline Barometer provides a wealth of data against which progress will be measured by all those who cherish democracy in the region. Whilst there are several challenges, the successes to date strengthen our view that change is possible.