Regional: Alliance to step up push for implementation of the SADC Gender Protocol

Regional: Alliance to step up push for implementation of the SADC Gender Protocol

Date: October 4, 2011
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With 13 SADC countries having signed and nine countries ratified the SADC Gender Protocol; the Southern Africa Gender Protocol Alliance has shifted focus to pushing for governments to fully implement the SADC Gender Protocol. This is important because once all those who have ratified deposit their instruments, the Gender Protocol will get into full force. This came out of the Alliance annual strategy meeting report just released. Click here to read full report.

The Southern Africa Gender Development Index (SGDI), introduced in the 2011 SADC Gender Protocol Barometer for the first time has been well received by governments, development partners and civil society where this has been shared at the report launches and several meetings in the last month. In complementing this innovation, it is believed to be one of the most comprehensive indices for measuring gender equality and could contribute to improving the MDG Gender Inequality Index beyond 2015.

The SGDI is a basket of empirical scores that can be used to assess how governments are performing by sector, as well as relative to each other. With empirical data on 23 indicators in six sectors, the SGDI puts SADC countries at 64% of where they need to be by 2015: the target date for meeting the 28 targets of the Protocol.

In addition to strengthening institutional mechanisms to ensure capacity at national levels with support from UN Women and the SADC Gender Unit, the Alliance is calling on national governments to:

  • Align their national gender policy and action plans to the Gender Protocol.
  • Identify key gaps and action points for meeting the 2015 targets.
  • Devising an overarching plan that identifies actions, cost implications, who is responsible and timeframes.

The Alliance national focal points have identified the following strategic entry points for interventions at country level to push governments towards implementation as highlighted in the 2011 SADC Gender Protocol Barometer:

  • 14 SADC countries have gender integrated in national development plans, with the exception of Madagascar which is a post conflict fragile state.
  • 14 SADC countries have some sort of gender policy, again with the exception of Madagascar. However, most are dated. Namibia is currently redraft its’ national gender action plan.
  • Generally, gender action plans are not aligned to the SADC Gender and Development Protocol in a systematic way. Most are not aligned at all but address the same broad sector of governance, constitutional and legal rights, economic justice, education, health, HIV and AIDS and so forth.
  • Botswana, South Africa and Zimbabwe Gender Action Plan are somewhat aligned to the SADC Gender Declaration of 1997.
  • Lesotho Gender Action Plan has the closest alignment with the SADC Gender and Development Protocol.
  • 14 SADC countries have integrated gender responsive budgeting initiatives into the budgeting processes; there was no information available for Madagascar.
  • The Ratification process is also another strategic entry point. As lobbying for ratification intensifies, it is strategic to raise awareness on the issue of costing implementation of the protocol provisions.
  • For the eight countries that have completed internal consultative process, including the five that have deposited Instruments of Ratification, there is more pressure to implement the Protocol provisions, therefore strategic that those countries begin the costing exercise.
  • The budget cycles present an opportunity. It is important that costing be done before the new fiscal year so that budget provisions are made and included into the overall budget beforehand.

Click here for the full Alliance meeting report.

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