Regional: Gender and climate justice campaign launched

Regional: Gender and climate justice campaign launched

Date: December 16, 2011
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The Southern Africa Gender Protocol Alliance coordinated by Gender Links has launched a petition campaign calling on SADC governments to adopt as matter of urgency, the principle of an Addendum or amendments to the 2008 Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Gender and Development to include provisions on climate change, sustainable development and disaster risk management.13 out of the 15 SADC countries have signed the Protocol and nine countries have ratified. It will come into full force once South Africa has deposited its instruments of ratification.

SADC government officials and activists who were involved in the drafting of articles and language for the SADC Gender Protocol overlooked to include provisions on climate change. Building on the momentum of COP 17 when for the first time gender has come up higher on the agenda; it is an opportune time to draft additional articlesto include in the Protocol based on recommendations coming out of the conference.

It will be important to ensure that SADC leaders integrate the key outcomes of the COP17 into the new articles or amendments and embed this in policy frameworks to sustain the interventions. It is also a practical way for the sub-region to bring all the commitments home and translate them into the language that women in local communities can identify with as part of the forward-looking strategies.

After discussions on SADC and the Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD+) programme during COP 17, Loga Virahsawmy Gender Links’ Francophone Director spoke to the SADC Secretariat Deputy Executive Secretary – Regional Integration, Engineer Joao Samuel Caholo-regarding the inclusion of an article on Gender and Climate Change in the Gender Protocol. He assured her that the matter has been taken up at a higher level pointing to the fact that SADC is in the right direction.

Gender Links coordinates the work of the Southern Africa Gender Protocol Alliance, a regional network of organisations that campaigned for the SADC Gender Protocol and is pushing governments for full implementation of the 28 targets set for 2015. The Alliance has started a petition to call on governments to adopt the principle of an Addendum or additional articles on climate change once the Gender Protocol.

Click here to sign the petition that the Alliance partners will take to the respective governments in 2012.

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