Swaziland:Minister Mabuza officially opens the SADC Protocol@Work Swaziland Summit

Swaziland:Minister Mabuza officially opens the SADC Protocol@Work Swaziland Summit

Date: September 1, 2014
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Matsapha, 15 April: Approximately 54 participants are battling it out in this year’s Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol@Work Summit in Swaziland being held under the banner, “Yes we must”. The summit runs from 14 to 16 April 2014.

Minister of Housing and Urban Development, Phiwayinkhosi Mabuza officially opened the Swaziland summit on 14 April in the presence of representatives from key government entities, media, local government, researchers and media activists.

In his official opening remarks, the minister applauded Swaziland for advancing gender equality and promoting women’s rights.

“The development and adoption of the National Gender Policy by government is indicative of the pronounced commitment to mainstreaming gender issues in the national development agenda,” Mabuza said.

Honourable Mabuza noted that the policy covered a wide range of issues as informed by international and regional instruments. He further pointed out that the ratification of the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development (2008) by Swaziland is affirmation that there is political will to create and sustain a gender equitable society.

As the region marches on towards 2015, the year by which some of the Protocol targets must be met as well as the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), Mabuza challenged all participants at the summit to make meaningful contribution towards the achievement of gender equality.

“I urge all of you to take this opportunity seriously as it not only serves to implement the Protocol, but to improve the livelihoods of our families, communities and the nation at large. I, therefore, wish to congratulate all award contestants who worked tirelessly towards achieving these targets and were able to put together projects for nomination,” the minister said.

He added, “Do not feel discouraged if you do not make it to the regional competition. This platform must serve as a way of learning from each other and to strive to improve our interventions to make a difference in the lives of Swazi women and men. View the summit as a way of developing partnerships and a networking opportunity.”

Winners from the Swaziland summit will go on to compete at the regional summit themed “50/50 by 2015 and a strong Post 2015 Agenda” to be held in Johannesburg, South Africa from 22 to 26 May 2014.

This article is part of the GL News Service special coverage of the SADC Gender Protocol Summits underway across the region, offering fresh views on everyday news.

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