Editorial note

Editorial note

Date: August 31, 2011
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Welcome to the 19th edition of Roadmap to Equality! tracking progress towards the implementation and ratification of the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development.

August, which coincides with women’s month in South Africa,and the SADC Heads of State Summit for the region, was a busy month for gender activists.

The Southern Africa Gender Protocol Alliance launched the SADC Gender Protocol 2011 Barometer, on 11 August 2011 in Johannesburg following the annual meeting of the Alliance that took several resolutions to strengthen the coalition.The Barometer is a cutting edge monitoring and evaluation tool that tracks SADC Member States progress towards implementing the 28 targets of the SADC Gender Protocol to be achieved bt 2015. The third edition of the annual series started in 2009 introduces a Southern Africa Gender Development Index (SGDI) which is a first in the sub-region and is the most comprehensive index on gender in the African region. Click here to read more about the SGDI.

The 7th Civil Society Forum hosted by the SADC Council of NGOs (SADC CNGO) from 7 À“ 9 August2011 in Johannesburg under the banner Social economic justice for poverty eradication and developmentpreceded the Barometer launch. A high level regional policy dialogue focussing on SADC Governance and accountability – Taking stockmarked the opening of the Forum.  

Civil society in Angola with a handful of regional civil society representatives held a second launch of the 2011 Barometer on 13 August in Luanda after a delegation of civil society leaders led by the SADC Council of NGOs were barred from entering the country. Read more.

On 5 August, the gender and governance cluster of the Alliance re-launched the 5050 women in decision making campaign in Harare.Zimbabwe Deputy Prime Minister ThokozaniKhupe gave the key note address.With several SADC countries preparing for elections within the next 12 months, the governance cluster of the Southern African Gender Protocol Alliance renewed calls for governments in the region to redouble their efforts if they are going to achieve 50/50 gender parity in all areas of decision-making by 2015.

Gender Links and the Medical Research Council in collaboration with the South Africa Local Government Association (SALGA) Gauteng launched the research findings of The war at home: Gender Based Violence Indicators Projecton 22 August 2011. The results of the comprehensive research looking at prevention, extent, response and support of GBV in Gauteng reveals that over half the women of Gauteng (51.3%) have experienced some form of violence (emotional, economic, physical or sexual) in their lifetime and 75.5% of men in the province admit to perpetrating some form of violence against women.

While women’s rights are under focus this month The Sowetansparked a public outcry by publishing graphic photographs of two public security officials having sex while on duty. This has sparked a debate on freedom of expressionand the gender dimensions of this incident. Click here to follow the debates unfolding.

The debateputs the spotlight on the upcoming Highway Africa and Pan African Conference on Access to Information (PACAI) to be held at parallel eventsat the Africa Media Summit 17 to 19 September 2011. PACAI will mark the 20th year of the Windhoek Declaration, the Windhoek +20 Campaign on Access to Information in Africa in Cape Town. The question for gender and media activists will be: What has gender got to do with Access to information and freedom of the press among other issues.

Till next time!

Loveness Jambaya-Nyakujarah

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