Special Edition

Special Edition

Date: December 7, 2012
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Welcome to the 29th edition of the Roadmap to Equality! Tracking progress towards the implementation and ratification of the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development.

The SADC Protocol on Gender and Development is in full force after South Africa became ninth country to deposit their ratification instruments with the SADC in late November.

All SADC states, except Botswana and Mauritius that have not signed the Protocol, are obliged to work towards achieving the 28 targets in the Protocol. The 13 SADC countries that have adopted the Protocol will to report on their progress every two years.

While we celebrate this achievement, recent events in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) remind us that instruments such as the Protocol must be implemented to prevent violence and guarantee women’s safety. The resurgence of violence in Goma following the occupation of the town by M23 rebels in November is a chilling reminder that we cannot take peace for granted.

The violence in the DRC is occurring against the backdrop of the 16 Days of Activism for No Violence Against Women. The international theme for the 16 Days is From Peace in the Home, to Peace in the World: Let’s Challenge Militarism and End Violence against Women. The reports of women being raped and attacked in the DRC highlights the importance of this year’s theme.

GL is currently conducting baseline GBV Indicators research to establish the prevalence and attitudes towards GBV. The statistics coming out of the research are sobering, it points to another to the “war at home”. At least one in four women (Mauritius) and two in three women (Botswana) report experiencing GBV at some time in their life.

In Gauteng, the figure is one in every two women. Headline results from three other provinces (Western Cape, Limpopo and Kwa Zulu Natal) in South Africa and Zimbabwe are equally alarming.Men corroborate these findings, sometimes even more strongly than what women report experiencing. Click here to read more about the GBV Indicators research. Click here to read Chapter 5 on GBV of the SADC Gender Protocol Barometer.

Political will is key if there are going to be systemic changes to the prevalence rates. This requires the allocation of adequate human, technical and financial resources coupled with training for service providers. Despite GBV being the most flagrant violation of human rights in the region, political leaders in the three countries refer to GBV sporadically in their speeches (6% to 15% of the time).

As the Sixteen Days of Activism kicks off, the Southern Africa Gender Protocol Alliance calls on all sectors, especially government authorities at all levels, faith communities and the private sector to redouble their efforts to end the war at home. Click here to read the Alliance Sixteen Days press release.

On the 10th of December, Human Rights Day and the final day of the Sixteen Days of Activism,  a cyber-dialogue will bring together development partners from around the globe to chat with NGOs mainly from the global South to deliberate on the post-2015 development framework that is set to succeed the Millennium Development Goals set for 2015. GBV must feature high on the post 2015 agenda.

Till next time!

Loveness Jambaya Nyakujarah

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