Gender Justice Barometer Issue 13

Gender Justice Barometer Issue 13

Date: January 1, 1970
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Southern Africa
Gender Justice Barometer

Issue 13: April 2007


The Gender Justice Barometer is a joint project of Gender Links and the Gender and Media Southern Africa (GEMSA) Network

In this issue:
1. Regional: National Consultations stepped up on Draft SADC Gender and Development Protocol
2. South Africa: National Consultative Conference On SADC Gender And Development Draft Protocol held
3. Regional: At the coalface:  Gender and Local Government study findings launched
* Angola and Mozambique: Women Face Unequal Inequality
*South Africa: Sexual Offences Bill still not passed
*Mauritius: Sodomy Halts Debates on Sexual Offences Bill
*International: Show us the money: Is violence against women on the HIV & AIDS donor agenda?
* Mauritius: Progress being made on National Action Plan to end gender violence
* Regional: GEMSA makes “Care Work Count”.
*Swaziland: Glad to See Abuse Figures Rise
*Africa: Beef up Budget Allocations to Achieve MDGs
*Africa: Men need to be sensitised about women’s rights
* Mozambique: Women
 heroes soldier on 
* Regional: What women
 bring to local politics

We encourage your feedback, comments and information you would like us to include. Send an email to:
Loveness Jambaya-Nyakujarah














1. Regional: National Consultations stepped up on Draft SADC Gender and Development Protocol
National gender machineries in SADC countries are convening country consultations ahead of a consultative conference in Gaborone from 16-18 April. The Gaborone meeting will make final amendments before sending the draft to the Council of Ministers in June, and Heads of State meeting in Lusaka, Zambia, in August this year.
The Gender and Development Protocol, which is to be presented at the 2007 SADC Heads of State summit, would be a global first that would place SADC at the cutting edge of innovative strategies for giving global and continental commitments meaning at sub-regional level. The draft Protocol encompasses and enhances all existing regional and international commitments for achieving gender equality. An audit conducted by civil society organisations showed that while considerable progress has been made since the signing of the Declaration in 1997, several gaps remain.
To view the draft SADC and Development Protocol click here.
To view comments made by civil society organisations at a workshop in March 2007 click here.

2. South Africa: National Consultative Conference On SADC Gender And Development Draft Protocol held
The Commission on Gender Equality (CGE) in collaboration with Gender Links (GL) and Gender and Media Southern Africa (GEMSA) hosted a one-day national consultative conference in Johannesburg on the SADC Gender and Development Draft Protocol on the 11th of April 2007.  The conference brought together close to 100 national and provincial delegates from government, civil society and the private sector.
In her keynote address, Deputy Minister of Safety and Security, Susan Shabangu said South Africa should take advantage of the process to take stock of areas it is doing well and identify gaps to improve upon.  She emphasised the need to move from an era of commitments to an era of implementation.
Shabangu also noted that while South Africa has made major strides in ensuring that there is 30% women representation in national and local decision making structures it could not “claim victory until all countries in the sub-region have achieved this (target)”.
A representative from the World Council of Churches pledged its support to the protocol campaign and urged stakeholders to ensure that traditional and religious leadership play an active role in the process.
The National Council of Trade Unions challenged civil society and the private sector to also endeavor to achieve 50% women representation in top management structures and not just point fingers at governments alone.
Colleen Lowe Morna, chair of GEMSA and a member of the SADC Protocol Task Team gave a background to the whole protocol campaign following which delegates gave their inputs to the content of the draft protocol in working groups.

3. Regional: At the coalface:  Gender and Local government study findings launched

Gender Links (GL) in partnership with SALGA Gauteng launched a groundbreaking study on gender and local government, “At the Coalface: Gender and Local Government” on 22 March in Johannesburg. Over a year in the making, the study included interviews with 478 councilors in four Southern African countries:
Highlighting the range in women’s representation in local government from 1.2 percent in Angola to 58 percent in Lesotho, the study notes that where governments have been willing to take special measures to increase women’s representation this is more likely to be so at local than at national level. For example Lesotho introduced a quota for local but not national elections held in February 2007.
What is unfortunate, the study says, is that measures to increase women’s participation at local level appear to result from a calculation that local government is not as serious a sphere of politics than the national level, rather than because of a commitment to deepening democracy through decentralisation and the equal participation of women.  Read summary of the book.
To place an order for the book please email:

Angola and Mozambique: Women Face Unequal Inequality
By Mario De Queiroz
The rights of women enshrined in the constitutions of Angola and Mozambique are identical. But in practice, there are enormous differences.
The laws of the two largest Portuguese-speaking countries in Africa are non-discriminatory, and should therefore serve the interests of gender equality, but in Angola women often have to demand that the laws also be enforced without discriminating against them. Read full article



Mauritius: Sodomy Halts Debates on Sexual Offences Bill

By Deepa Bhookhun
Political debates on the Sexual Offences Bill – a piece of draft legislation that deals mainly with the stiffening of laws in cases of rape and other sexual offences – have stumbled upon the term "sodomy." Read full article Source:

South Africa: Sexual Offences Bill still not passed
By Carrie Shelver

The Criminal Law (Sexual Offences) Amendment Bill continues to cause frustration for civil society and probably for most South Africans.  The bill has still not been passed and is not tabled for discussion by parliament for 2007. It has been learnt that the reason for the delay is due to an issue of ’re-tagging’.

A legal opinion has been drafted that supports the position that the section of the Bill which deals with provision of Post Exposure Prophylaxis (PEP) to sexual assault survivors is better dealt with by Health rather than Justice & Constitutional Affairs.

What is clear is that as long as the debate rages, survivors and victims of sexual offenders will not be afforded the increased protections offered by the new legislation. This is unacceptable. At least since 2003 (when the Bill was first put before parliament), the number of women survivors who have been directly affected – including Khwezi – are in the thousands. Decisive action needs to be taken to ensure the bill is passed and the time is now!

Mauritius: Progress being made on National Action Plan to end gender violence
The Women’s Affairs Ministry is calling on all stakeholders to give final inputs to the National Action Plan to end gender violence before validation of the plan in May this year. Apart from a National Symposium organised by this Ministry with all
stakeholders in November 2006, among others the plan will build on the work done by Media Watch Organisation-GEMSA in at a conference titled: 365 days of Action to end gender violence, held in October 2006.
The Action Plan is based on the following:
  • Legislation;
  • Causes and Consequences of Domestic Violence;
  • Social, Economic, Cultural and Political Environment that is required to combat Domestic Violence; and
  • Services, Education, Training Awareness and Integrated Approaches.
A consultative meeting is scheduled for May this year to validate the Action Plan. 

Regional: GEMSA makes “Care Work Count”
Home based care is being seen as a key strategy to care for people living with AIDS. The Gender and Media Southern Africa (GEMSA) Network in collaboration with care work organisations in 8 Southern African countries including Angola, Lesotho, Malawi, Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe will be embarking on an advocacy campaign on the unpaid care work. Various country launches of the campaign will be held on the 1st of May to coincide with Worker’s Day.
The MAKING CARE WORK COUNT campaign will focus on four main areas:
·         Raise awareness on unpaid care work through workshops, meetings and seminars with key stakeholders and the public using the media.
·         Conduct baseline research on unpaid care work in Angola, Malawi and Zambia.
·         To put unpaid care work on the media agenda by collecting first hand accounts of people who are care workers, people being cared for, family members and others and making these available to the media in country and in the region.
·         To initiate or contribute to existing policy and legislation development processes on unpaid care work.
In each country the campaign will be coordinated by a reference group constituted of GEMSA representations, care work organisations and other key stakeholders including government and the media. For more information on the campaign contact the GEMSA secretariat at

Swaziland: Glad to See Abuse Figures Rise
Rape and physical abuse figures are rising year on year in Swaziland, but welfare groups say a decade of national debate on the issue is starting to pay off as more women and children are reporting crimes committed against them rather than tolerating the abuse without complaint. Read full article


Africa: Beef up Budget Allocations to Achieve MDGs

By Moyiga Nduru
African states should put in place sufficient budget allocations and the right policies if the continent is to meet the global and regional health care targets that governments have committed themselves to, say campaigners. Read full article
Source: IPS



Africa: Men need to be sensitised about women’s rights

By Vivian Warby
Educating the boy-child and the grown man would go a long way to ensure that gender equality and women’s rights on the African continent were upheld, delegates attending the African Regional Meeting on Gender Justice in Conflict-Affected Countries heard.
South African Justice and Constitutional Development Minister Brigitte Mabandla, said important lessons would be learned from women in countries that have gone through transition.
"An essential ingredient in advancing the Gender Justice Agenda was to enhance co-operation in both regional and international levels and to strengthen solidarity within and among countries in Africa," she said.
The meeting, Ms Mabandla said, has focussed on three priorities, thus, joining gender and justice, strengthening regional co-operation and identifying best practices.
It is an initiative which aims at strengthening solidarity and building capacity in the Africa continent.
Minister Mabandla reiterated the commitment of the Department and the Partners for Gender Justice in making the Gender Justice concept a success in contributing to Africa’s New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD) and the renewal of the African continent. Read full article.
Source: BuaNews Online


International: Show us the money: Is violence against women on the HIV & AIDS donor agenda? Women Won’t Wait
Two pandemics threaten the health, lives and rights of women throughout the world: one is HIV and AIDS and the other is gender-based violence against women and girls. Research confirms that violence, and particularly intimate partner violence, also is a leading factor in the increasing "feminization" of the global AIDS pandemic, resulting in disproportionately higher rates of HIV infection among women and girls.
The report, "Show Us the Money: is violence against women on the HIV and AIDS donor agenda?" analyses the policies, programming and funding patterns of the four largest public donors to HIV and AIDS: the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, the President’s Emergency Fund for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR/US), the UK Department for International Development (DFID), and the World Bank, and UNAIDS (the Joint UN Programme on HIV/AIDS). The report is the first step in an effort by this coalition to monitor the policies, programmes, and funding streams of international agencies and national governments, and to hold these agencies accountable to basic health and human rights objectives.

Mozambique: Women heroes soldier on 
By Fred Katerere
This year on 7 April, Women’s Day in Mozambique, many women still have tears on their chins from three recent disasters, two natural and one man-made. These disasters have affected the whole country, but the hardest hits are the thousands of mothers who are now relying on handouts to meet the basic needs of their children. Read full article   


Regional: What women bring to local politics

By Susan Tolmay
Kaija Shililifa is an even-tempered woman. However, when the male colleagues in the seven-member council of Tsumeb in Namibia, on which she is the only woman councillor, wanted to turn down an application by a woman to set up a car wash, she blew a fuse.
Using her clout as chair of the powerful management committee she asked: “The three other cars washes, who owns them? It is men. Now why can’t we give an opportunity to this woman who also wants to progress? They tried to say ‘no’ but I said, let’s give this woman a car wash and see what she will do. It’s up to her.”
Shilifa believes that it is important for women councillors to take up gender issues. “Some think that when we talk of gender we are talking about women, but gender is about balance, we want balance in the community where we live,” comments Shililifa. Read full article



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