2016 – 2030: A period of action and results!

2016 – 2030: A period of action and results!

Date: November 24, 2015
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Welcome to the October 2015 edition of the Roadmap to equality newsletter. August and September were busy months as the world geared up to adopt the new development framework in the form of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). At regional level, the Southern African Development Community (SADC) gathered ahead of the August Heads of States summit to lobby on different fronts at the SADC Gender Protocol summit, the 11th Civil Society Forum and the People’s summit.

The world’s global challenge is to eradicate poverty in all its forms and dimensions and this will not be possible if gender equality is not central to implementation of the SDGs. The five Ps approach of the new development framework (People, Planet, Prosperity, Peace and Partnerships) require a boisterous implementation framework at national and sub-regional level to achieve the three dimensions of sustainable development (economic, social and environmental). Transforming the world towards a sustainable path will require heavy investment through finance, policies, legislature and political will at national level.
We congratulate Dr Bhekinkosi Moyo, Executive Director of Southern Africa Trust for articulating gender issues at a parallel event in the ambits of the UN General Assembly. Dr Moyo gave the SADC Gender Protocol as an example of an instrument that propels accountable and effective institutions. An excerpt from his speech is highlighted below:

“We supported the Gender Protocol Alliance-an advocacy coalition for gender equality. The SADC region has the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development as an example of a sub-regional instrument developed through lobbying and technical expertise from civil society, political buy in from governments, monitoring of implementation by both civil society and the SADC secretariat; and resourcing of implementation by funding partners. The Protocol is an example of a one stop shop of global, continental and regional development instruments. It is also an example of an iterative process from regional to global. The Southern African Gender Protocol Alliance played a major role in influencing the over thirty gender targets and indicators in the SDGs. This network of regional networks is now using the SDGs to lobby for the update and upgrade of the Protocol in line with the SDGs. With its slogan, action and results, this network is walking the talk of “accountable and inclusive institutions.”

Excerpt from speech delivered by Dr Bheki Moyo, ED of Southern Africa Trust at an Interactive panel on accountable and inclusive institutions during the UN General Assembly, 27 September 2015

The SADC Gender Protocol Alliance has highlighted in the 2015 Barometer, the few red flags that the SDGs bring in gender equality progress and also the opportunities to close the gender equality gap through sustained development. The 17 goals and 169 targets bring to new heights the level of development that citizens will expect and that governments will account to. The work is far from being accomplished for gender movements as there is need to watch and lobby for the inclusive implementation of the new development framework. The main concern is that the SDGs should leave no one behind in the development process.

The expiration of the 28 targets of the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development is an opportunity for the SADC region to raise the bar in terms of strengthening this ‘one-stop-shop’ gender equality framework to be aligned to the SDGs and other regional and continental instruments. The Protocol review process in now underway for the SADC region while at national level, National Development Plans should now be inclusively reviewed in line with the SDGs. The 2016 – 2030 period will be ground breaking for gender equality progress in the region as the implementation framework will shape national policy frameworks for action and results. The lessons from the Millennium Development Goals era point towards a need to develop implementation frameworks with indicators that will be used to measure progress against targets.

Through partnership with the Southern Africa Trust, Gender Links will be participating at the Africa Civil Society think tanks which is a group of think tanks and civil society organisations supported by the Konrad Adenauer Stiftung. The circle which will be soon formalised tackles various developmental issues including the newly adopted Sustainable development Goals.

The months of November and December will be full of activity around the sixteen days of activism against gender based violence. The SDGs have strengthened targets on gender based violence bringing a stronger human rights approach to development. Taking 365 days of action will bring more action and results to reducing levels of gender based violence by huge margins. Similarly, the National Action Plans to reduce gender based violence need to be reviewed in line with the SDGs and the Post -2015 SADC Gender Protocol. Feel free to share your 16 days of activism events with us to circulate.


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