Southern Africa: Drivers of change converge in South Africa

Southern Africa: Drivers of change converge in South Africa

Date: October 28, 2014
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Johannesburg, 27 May: Drivers of change in the field of gender equality and women’s empowerment have converged at the Kopanong Hotel and Conference Centre in Johannesburg, South Africa to make a concerted push for gender equality in the countdown to 2015. The drivers of change include gender activists, media, government and faith-based organisations from 14 Southern Africa countries.

Mauritian Minister of Gender, Mirelle Martin said, “women should contribute equally as men when it comes to development.

“Women need to be given the opportunity to participate equally with men to the advancement of their country; women should cease every opportunity to participate equally, because no society can progress to its maximum without both genders”, Martin underscored.

Governments should establish and promote strong networks with all partners in society, including civil society, NGO’s and business people to promote a strong post 2015 agenda that is sustainable for current and future generations.

Martin encouraged women to create opportunities out of adversity for instance the award entries submitted by survivors of GBV who are now entrepreneurs.

Zelda Hakskeen a young participant from Namibia feels that being at the summit is about realising that she is a woman of yesterday, today and tomorrow in her quest of being an active agent of change. “I am not simply a woman because of my gender, but rather because of my innate ability to cope and keep my head up times of adversity” says Hakskeen.

The Summit, hosted by Gender Links and the Southern Africa Protocol Alliance, follows 15 district and 13 national summits that involved 1961 participants (1345 women and 616 men), garnering 973 entries from across the region. Some 185 winners (53 men and 132 women) from the district and national summits are now competing at regional level. Fifty of the participants attending the regional summit in 2014 are travelling outside their country and 26 got passports for the first time.

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