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GL is an active member of the global 50/50 campaign, and has been active in promoting women’s equal representation and participation in decision-making at local and national levels throughout Southern Africa. The project forms part of a region-wide campaign to increase women’s political representation and participation in line with the 2008 Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Gender and Development which aims to achieve gender parity in all areas of decision-making by 2030. This project covers all the SADC countries including: Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, South Africa, Malawi, Botswana, Mozambique, Namibia, Mauritius and Tanzania. Evidence in the gender and elections discourse shows that women’s political representation is highest in Proportional Representation (PR) electoral systems and in countries with quotas.
The research on At the Coalface, Gender and Local Government has been distilled into fact sheets that are distributed to the councillors, officials and the media at training workshops. GL also produced a DVD which draws on examples and cases studies from Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Namibia, South Africa and Swaziland to demonstrate the impact of different electoral systems and the use of quotas in increasing women’s representation in decision making positions. GL annually tracks progress on gender and governance in the region through the annual SADC Protocol@Work Barometer.
GL conducts 50/50 campaigns, onsite training for prospective women leaders at local and national government. Since inception, training for gender equality and women’s empowerment is a flagship project to Gender Links commitment to advance gender equality and women’s empowerment. The onsite trainings in all offices provided by GL is transformative and seeks to provide knowledge, techniques and tools to develop skills, influence attitudinal, behavioural, policy level change. Influencing gender sensitive social change requires political will and commitment of all parties; in order to create societies that recognise the need to promote gender equality for inclusive development, women’s effective representation in achieving equal human rights for all. GL training reports, lobbying and advocacy initiatives over the years in SADC are detailed below:
Click here for information on the gender justice and local government summits and awards held by GL