Gender Justice Barometer Issue 26

Date: January 1, 1970
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ISSUE 26:  
AUGUST 2008  


* Regional: Southern Africa Protocol Alliance prepares for the work ahead: "The time is now"


*Malawi: Malawi women cry foul over gender-biased citizenship fees
*Zimbabwe: Ministry seeks funding to make Domestic Violence Act effective
* Zambia: Gender Minister calls for domestication of CEDAW via the constitution
*Malawi: Draft HIV and AIDS Bill sparks controversy

*Swaziland: 50/50 campaign
*Zimbabwe: Entreprenuers struggle with pricing changes
* Swaziland: Circumcision gives men an excuse not to use condoms
* Malawi: Men divorces wife after giving birth to baby with two noses


* Malawi: Government establishes rehabilitation centres for survivors of gender based violence
* South Africa: Seven Thuthuzela Centres to be established by September
* Global: The female condom – the step child in HIV prevention


* Regional: Media Activism under the spotlight
* Africa: Distance learning seen as a way to promote gender awareness
*Zimbabwe: Women can do it campaign a success
*Zambia: NGOCC calls for gender budgeting
News Highlights

* Regional: Activists celebrate the signing of SADC Gender and Development Protocol 
* South Africa: Gender Protocol to advance women’s emancipation
* Regional: Snapshot of GBV targets contained in the SADC Gender Protocol 
*Regional: What will a Free Trade Area mean for women?
* An Economic Justice Network formed in SADC region
* Regional: Third Gender and Media Summit held in Johannesburg

* South Africa: Hope Worldwide Men as Partners (MAP) Programme

* Mohale’s Hoek Local Government workshop
*Maseru Local Government workshop
* Vocoas Phoenix Local Government workshop


Regional: Activists celebrate the signing of SADC Gender and Development Protocol
Gender activists across the Southern African Development Community (SADC) commend Heads of State for their adoption of the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development at the SADC Summit which closed today. Celebrating the climax of a campaign launched in 2005, the Southern Africa Protocol Alliance applauds leaders’ for finally adopting this instrument after three years of negotiations.
Although a range of items featured on the agenda, it is the Protocol on Gender and Development that if implemented stands to make immediate differences in the lives of the region’s women. The Protocol contains 23 targets, which together outline a clear roadmap for the region’s leaders to move towards gender equality.
Key targets in the Protocol include ensuring that provisions for gender equality are contained in all constitutions and include affirmative action clauses; halving gender violence, abolishing the legal minority status of women, and achieving at least 50% representation of women in decision-making positions by 2015. The Protocol calls for stepping up prevention, treatment and support of the affected and infected with HIV and AIDS, and to have access to Post Exposure Prophylaxis in the event of sexual assault. A series of provisions relate to ensuring women participate equally in land ownership; trade and entrepreneurship, including equal access to state procurement opportunities. Read full articleSource: Gender Links Opinion and Commentary Service
View the final version of the SADC Gender and Development Protocol signed at the HOS

South Africa: Gender Protocol to advance women’s emancipation 
The Protocol on Gender and Development which was ratified by the Southern Development Community (SADC) member states at the weekend would further advance the process of women’s emancipation, says President Thabo Mbeki.
He said this would occur through policies, laws, programmes and projects which all member states would have to implement. Speaking at the opening of Women’s Parliament on Tuesday, the President described the Protocol as one of the most important decisions the SADC Summit had made.

"This Protocol is important because it consolidates all the important SADC’s policies and programmes dealing with gender equity," said Mr Mbeki.

The SADC decision was also based on the Constitutive Act of the African Union, as well as its decisions, including the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, said President Mbeki. He said while these decisions on the emancipation and empowerment of women were important, they were only effective when implemented. Read full article
Source: Bua News 
Regional: Snapshot of GBV targets in the SADC Gender and Development Protocol 

By 2015, States shall;

>   Review and reform their criminal laws and procedures applicable to cases of sexual offences and   gender based violence.

>   Enact and enforce legislation prohibiting all forms of gender-based violence.

>   Enact and adopt specific legislative provisions to prevent human trafficking and provide holistic services to the victims, with the aim of re-integrating them into society, among others.

>   Review, and eradicate traditional norms, including social, economic, cultural and political practices and religious beliefs which legitimise and exacerbate the persistence and tolerance of gender based violence.

>   Enact legislative provisions, and adopt and enforce policies, strategies and programmes which define and prohibit sexual harassment in all spheres, and provide deterrent sanctions for perpetrators of sexual harassment.

>   Adopt integrated approaches, including institutional cross sector structures, with the aim of reducing current levels of gender based violence.

>   Adopt and implement legislative frameworks, policies, programmes and services to enhance gender sensitive, appropriate and affordable quality health care.

Regional: What will a free trade area mean for women
By Deborah Walter
One of the highlights of the recent Southern African Development Community (SADC) Summit 2008 was the launch of the SADC Free Trade Area (FTA). Increased integration could bring a wealth of opportunities for the region, yet for the most vulnerable, especially women, these benefits will largely depend on their access to finance, training, and productive resources needed to participate fully in the regional economy.
Ratification and implementation of the Protocol could offer women like Florence Mutale, a Zambian trader who sells kapenta and buys shoes for resale from those who go outside the country, opportunities to grow their businesses and move beyond subsistence. “I would very much want to move to a higher level in my business but cannot due to financial constraints,” Mutale said.  

She added that her capital is not enough for her to go out of the country to buy commodities. “I depend on my business friends to loan me money. I cannot approach any financial lending institutions because I do not have assets or any valuables to use as collateral,” said Mutale. Read full article.

Source: GL Opinion and Commentary Service
Regional: Economic Justice Network launched
Gender activists participating in the August SADC Protocol Alliance meeting which took place parallel to the SADC Heads of State Summit launched an Economic Justice Network. The launch of the Network was preceded by the launch of the Business Unusual publication, a training tool for journalists on reporting economic issues with a gender lens.
The Network will focus on putting pressure on governments to ensure that women are empowered and gain tangable benefits from regional integration as SADC Heads of State have now signed the Free Trade Area Protocol.
The main objectives in line with targets around productive resources and employment sections include:
> Ensure, by 2015, equal access to and full employee rights and benefits in all spheres (agricultural, domestic work)
> Ensure women have comprehensive access to property rights and productive resources, including  by 2015 (land, credit, security, capital)
> Adopt policies and enact laws to ensure equal access, benefit and opportunities in trade and entrepreneurship, including through public procurement processes by 2015 (formal and informal sector).
> Conduct time use studies by 2015 and adopt policies to address women’s multiple roles
> Ensure gender sensitive and responsive budgeting at macro and micro levels
> Ensure equal participation of women and men in policy formulation and implementation of economic policies.
Regional: Third Gender and Media Summit held in Johannesburg
The third regional Gender and Media (GEM) Summit held from the 11-12 August 2008 at the Kopanong Hotel, Johannesburg brought together approximately 156 (99 female and 57 male) gender and media advocates from 15 Southern African countries and other countries including Kenya, India, Sweden, and the USA. The Summit was hosted by Gender Links, the Media Institute of (MISA) and the Gender and Media Southern Africa (GEMSA) Network.
Participants deliberated for two days on various topics that fed into the Summit theme: “Whose news, whose views, Critical consumers, responsive media”. Participants included: GEMSA members and country chapters, media practitioners, media decision-makers,    gender   activists, academics, researchers, trainers and all those who subscribe to the GEMSA slogan “making every voice count, and counting that it does” to share best practices in creating a more responsive media.
The summit featured the third Gender and Media and Media Action Plan (MAP) HIV and AIDS and Gender awards for progressive institutional practice on promoting diversity in the work place and media content. New features included the Gender and Media Diversity Centre (GMDC) launched in March 2008 and its work in building the capacity of ordinary citizens to engage critically with the media through media literacy projects across the Southern African region. Partners in the GMDC include knowledge institutions and media development NGOs from Southern Africa and around the world committed to more diverse and responsive media that promote an informed, critical citizenry. Click below to read more…
Regional: Southern African Protocol Alliance prepares for the work ahead: "The time is now"
Gender activists attending the Southern African Protocol Alliance meeting held parallel to the Heads of State Summit did not end at only celebrating the signing of the Protocol by the Heads of State but looked beyond signing to ratification and implementation. 
Under the banner "The time is now", the Alliance drew up a three year road map on how they could partner with their respective governments in implementation as well as continue playing the role of watchdog to ensure that targets committed to in the Protocol are met. 
The Alliance was restructured to in order to improve operational modalities.  Sector specific clusters were set up for better coordination of the Alliance. This involved developing TOR and deliverables for seven clusters, focusing on constitutional and legal rights, gender based violence, governance and peace building, Health and HIV and AIDS, gender and economic justice, education and training, and media. Each cluster came up with a plan of action. A lead organisation was nominated for each  of the clusters to support the planned implementation and serve as a reference point for the overall coordinator of the Alliance. For more information contact: Pamela Mhlanga on

Malawian women cry foul over gender biased citizenship fees
Malawian women have protested against disparties existing in the current immigration law over citizenship fees involving spouses.
The immigration law requires a foreign man who marries a Malawian womean to pay MK80,000 while a foreign women is required to pay MK8,000 to marry a Malawian man.
A Malawian news survey report quoted several women voicing their concerns over the immigration law.
"It seems government is using this law as a way fo stopping Malawian women from marrying men from other countries" Emily Kavala was quoted saying.
"We want equal treatment. Whatever applies to the man must also apply to the woman" said Reen Kachere, director of Progressive Women Association of Malawi.
Source: Malawi News
Zimbabwe: Ministry seeks funding to make Domestic Act effective

THE Ministry of Women’s Affairs, Gender and Economic Development is appealing for funding from Government and donors to make the Domestic Violence Act effective.

Addressing hundreds of women from various political backgrounds in Harare recently, the Minister, Cde Oppah Muchinguri, said progress in implementing the Act has been hampered by lack of funding.

"Many women have been complaining that the Act has not assisted them since it was passed, but my hands are also tied as the minister responsible for that ministry. "Last year, I did not receive any allocation for that project and for this year, nothing has come yet."

She said since the Act was passed, no financial support had been allocated for the programme. "For as long as we do not receive funding to implement such initiatives, they will just exist on paper but will not protect anyone in practice," Cde Muchinguri said. Read full article
Zambia: Gender Minister calls for domestication of CEDAW via the constitution
Gender and Women in Development Minister Patricia Mulasikwanda called on members of parliament (MPs) Tto review provisions of the convention on the elimination of all forms of discrimination against Women (CEDAW to help government bring it in line with national values.

She said the review by MPs would provide guidelines to government in its efforts to ensure that domestication of the CEDAW provisions were effective.

Mrs Mulasikwanda encouraged MPs to support the retention of gender provisions in the draft constitution, which is currently under debate.
Source: The Nation Newspaper 
Malawi: Draft HIV and AIDS Bill sparks controversy
An HIV and AIDS Bill being drafted by the Ministry of Health which seeks to make HIV testing mandatory for pregnant women, sex offenders and sex workers has sparked controversy.
Director of Malawi Watch, a human rights NGO, Billy Banda was quoted saying that the bill, if enacted into law, will promote gender inequality, and the harassment and abondonment of women who are found to be HIV-positive. Read more
Source: The Nation Newspaper
Swaziland: Women’s movement alive in Swaziland

By Judith Mtsewu

On a recent work trip to the Kingdom of Swaziland, I had an opportunity to witness an activity that in my mind at least bodes well for the quality of women’s movement in that particular Kingdom, but by extension in other parts of the continent. This activity came in the form of a march protesting against the government’s use of state resources in a way considered by the organisers’ of the march as ‘flippant and unnecessary’.

This extraordinary march was led by the organisation known as Swaziland Positive Living For Life ((hereafter SWAPOL) following reports in a weekend newspaper about the shopping outing to Dubai undertaken by the wives of the King, their children, aides, bodyguards and their maids. SWAPOL, women founded and led NGO decided to protest against what one marcher called the ‘obscene extravagance’ and a total disregard of the dire state of affairs of the lives of ordinary Swaziland citizens by the government. SWAPOL, in their petition, estimates that the entire trip would cost the taxpayers in the region of E30 000 000.00. 

The protestors argue that after 40 years of independence Swaziland has very little to show as more than 600 000 Swazis (out of a population of just over 950 000 citizens) continue to live in abject poverty. In addition, the group lamented the high unemployment levels in the country, the crippled health system that is unable to even provide basic pain medication such as paracetamol, let alone ARV treatment to those infected with the HI virus. The key issues that the protesters were highlighting were those of Health and HIV and AIDS, Economy and Poverty, Agriculture and Food Security, Child Care and Child Mortality and Elderly Social Grants. In addition, the protestors were also calling on the state to have more equitable allocations of the budget and distribution of national resources as well as to cultivate a culture of accountability, transparency and public participation on processes regarding the expenditure of state resources as this is an issue of national interest.  

The marchers made their way to the offices of the Ministry of Finance in Mbabane to hand over a petition detailing the above-mentioned concerns to the Principal Secretary of the Ministry of Finance on 20 August 2008. The group demanded that the Ministry and/or government respond within 24 hours, after which SWAPOL would consider further action. The march was covered by both the local and some regional media, including the SABC of South Africa.

Zimbabwe: Entrepreneurs struggle with pricing changes 


By Miriam Madziwa
Although leaders may have shaken hands, the pressing reality for Zimbabweans today, four months down the line from the 29 March harmonised polls, is coping with the economic crisis. The optimism for better lives – characterised by more food, medicines, clean water, banks notes, transport and all other basic necessities – has all but dissipated
Instead, the aftermath of the two elections has seen most Zimbabweans wallowing in deepening poverty. Inflation, now expressed in millions of percentages, continues its upward spiral, essential services delivery remains at a standstill, constant changes in prices and notes of legal tender and shortages of everything from food to bank notes persist.
If anything, the post-election period is bringing the vulnerability of women and children into stark focus.  The economic going is getting tough in Zimbabwe and only the tough (read men with above average educational qualifications, strong business support networks and resources) are still posting profits. Read full article
Source: GL Opinion and Commentary Service
Swaziland: Circumcision gives men an excuse not to use condoms
There is a growing belief among men in Swaziland that circumcision provides complete protection against HIV, a perception that worries non-governmental organisations (NGOs) battling the highest HIV prevalence rate in the world.

In recent years circumcision has been lauded by Swazi public health officials as a procedure that reduces the rate of HIV transmission by about 50 percent, but it is far from the silver bullet solution some men see it as.

"The problem is not with the procedure, but the way it is abused by men, so that men think they are now immune from HIV contagion," said Siphiwe Hlope, an HIV-positive woman and founder of the support group, Swazis for Positive Living (SWAPO). Read full article

Source: IRIN PlusNews

Malawi: Government establishes rehabilitation centres for survivors of gender based violence
Government has established two rehabilitation centres for survivors of defilement, rape and domestic violence in Lilongwe and Blantyre. Speaking during the launch ceremony, Minister of Women and Child Development, Anna Kachikho was quoted as saying that the centres are sending back to school, girls fo school going age who were defiled as well as offering some life and technical skills to abandoned women of broken marriages so that they can sustain themselves.
The centres which are the first of their kind in Malawi have the capacity to accomodate between 15 and 20 survivors each. Read more
Source: Malawi News

South Africa: Seven Thuthuzela Centres to be established by September

Seven more Thuthuzela Care Centres (TCCs) are to be established by the end of September to deal with the high levels of sexual violence against women and children, specifically rape.

The seven sites, earmarked to increase conviction rates and reduce the cycle time of cases, would be established at Mankweng and Thohoyandou in Limpopo, KaNyamazane in Mpumalanga, Bloemfontein in Free State, Tembisa and Kopanong in Gauteng as well as Kakamas in the Northern Province.

TCCs provide professional medical care, counselling, access to dedicated investigators and prosecutors, to victims of sexual offence all under one roof and aims to eliminate secondary victimisation.

The process of reporting and prosecution of rape and other sexual offences is conducted in a dignified and caring environment. Read full article

Source: BuaNews
Global: The female condom – the step-child in HIV prevention
The female condom – currently the only female-controlled method of preventing HIV – is rarely available to women who need it. Blaming poor marketing and insufficient investment, activists at the International AIDS Conference in Mexico City said failure to promote the female condom had hurt global HIV prevention efforts.

"When the female condom first came to us, it was marketed to sex workers, women in bars, and other women thought to be at high risk of HIV or to have loose morals," said Gladys Chiwome, of Zimbabwe’s Women and AIDS Support Network, which promotes the use of the female condom in the southern African nation. "As a result, women who thought they were safe, such as married women, were, and still are, reluctant to use it." Read full article

Source: IRIN PlusNews
Regional: Media Activism under the spotlight during the GEM Summit
Africa: Distance learning seen as a way to promote gender awareness
Creating greater awareness of gender issues through Online and Distance Learning (ODL) was central to discussions among representatives from government departments, Ministries responsible for the public sector, Management Development Institutions and distance learning universities at the Commonwealth’s headquarters held in July.
Participants spoke about the status of gender awareness in their respective governments and organisations and how ODL can contribute to training public servants so that gender concerns can be factored into their work. Read full article


Zimbabwe: Women can do it campaign a success

THE Women Can Do It campaign launched last year ahead of the March 29 harmonised elections with a view to increase women participation in politics was a resounding success, a senior Government official has said.

Officially opening a conference on post-election review organised by the Women’s Trust in Harare, the Minister of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development, Cde Oppah Muchinguri, said the WCDI campaign penetrated all sectors of society training women on leadership, communication, public speaking, networking and the media.
A total of 118 women contested for House of Assembly, 56 vied for Senate while 740 contested for council seats. However, 30 women made it into House of Assembly and 20 into Senate.
Cde Muchinguri said although women involvement has been increased, all winning candidates should now work together irrespective of political affiliations to advocate the enhancement of women’s issues. Read full article

Botswana: How can media report gender violence

GEMSA in collaboration with Women’s Shelter Project held a briefing with producers of the the programme Molemo WaKgang aired on Botswana Television. The briefing focused on gender based violence issues including the type of violence women report and how it affects children. The purpose of the briefing was to assist Botswana Television personnel in their planning of programmes which could address issues of violence. For more information please contact Kaabonye Ntsabane on
Zambia: NGOCC calls for gender budgeting

The Non Governmental Organisation Coordinating Council (NGOCC) chairperson Marian Munyinda has called on government to prioritise gender budgeting to ensure allocation of resources for women-based programmes. She said this at the NGOCC 2008 budget analysis dissemination forum in Lusaka recently.
Read more 
Source: The Times of Zambia

Regional: Developing indicators for measuring gender based violence to provide a monitoring mechanism 
Representatives of civil society and government, statisticians and other key role players from South Africa will come together on the 2nd of October to take forward the work of developing indicators for measuring gender based violence. This is in line with the SADC Gender and Development Protocol article on Monitoring and Evaluation which calls on states to report every two years on key developments in meeting set out targets.
Preliminary work has already been done involving desk top research on best practises and draft indicators have been developed.  The scheduled working meeting will serve to allocate responsibilities for key role players so that each one plays a role based on their comparative advantage.
The project has recieved keen interest from the SADC Gender Unit and United Nations Economic Commission for Africa (ECA) whom will look at ways at rolling out the project regionally and at continental level.

In the next few editions we will feature a series of best practices of the prevention of gender based violence.  These case studies were gathered during a mapping exercise of promising violence prevention models in South Africa. Gender Links was commissioned by the Inter Departmental Management Team of the South Africa Government under the leadership of the National Prosecuting Authority-Sexual Offences and Community Affairs Unit and UNICEF.

You are invited to submit case studies of ‘What is working in addressing gender based violence." Contributions should be sent to Loveness Jambaya

This month we feature an example of programmes which focus on working with men.

South Africa: Working with men 
Hope Worldwide Men as Partners Programme (MAP)

Hope Worldwide has been implementing the Men as Partners Programme since 2002. Working with individual men in community settings, the programme emphasises the link between gender violence and HIV and AIDS and promotes active male involvement in reducing both epidemics in South Africa. 

Hope Worldwide is a faith based international organisation whose vision is to bring hope and change the lives of the world’s most poor, sick and suffering. According to its website ( the organisation has been active in 63 countries, including South Africa.

The South Africa programme began in 1994 in Soweto and expanded to offer services at over 30 sites. Working in partnership with in many organisations, Hope Worldwide takes a comprehensive, integrated, community-based approach to programming. Core competencies include HIV/AIDS prevention, community capacity development, and care and support services for adults and children.

Hope Worldwide began implementing the Men as Partners Programme in 2002 after being introduced to the programme by the PPASA and Engender Health.  Read about Hope Worldwide Men as Partners 

Upcoming events




 15 – 19 September

Maseru Gender Action Planning workshop, Lesotho

 11 – 12 September

Vocoas Phoenix Gender Action Planning workshop, Mauritius            

 8 – 10 September

 Mohale’s Hoek Gender Action Planning workshop, Lesotho



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