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This Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) concerns the relationship between Gender Links (GL) as the coordinator of the SADC Gender Protocol Alliance and Congolese Union of Women in Media, UCOFEM, the Alliance focal network in DRC in advancing gender equality and its enhancement. The MOU takes on the guidelines to advance and implement gender equality through national, sub-regional, continental, and global instruments including the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development (SGP), the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), the African Union Agenda 2063 and the Beijing Platform for Action. The MOU is cognisant of the value of advancing gender equality in DRC and Southern Africa through implementation of gender commitments including the SADC Gender Protocol (2016). The MOU provides for project specific guidelines in collaboration between UCOFEM and GL such as country level research (Barometer), country gender summits, gender equality surveys, thematic cluster work and working with national governments. The MOU will guide the relationship for the period 2017 – 2021 when a review will take place
At Southern Africa Gender Protocol Alliance meeting held in February and August 2010 attended by thematic and country level organisations, it was resolved that the Alliance Secretariat identify organisations working at regional level to take on the role of leading country and thematic cluster work. The organisations are selected on the basis of their expertise; capacity; national outreach, gender equality track record and willingness to take on these responsibilities and commitment for Alliance work. The National focal networks form part of the Alliance Steering Committee while the thematic cluster leads for part of the Alliance EXCO.
UCOFEM is a Congolese organization that brings together women and a few men working in the media. Its objective is to promote and defend women’s rights and gender equality in and through the media. Her vision is a world where women and men have equal opportunities in all areas. UCOFEM is present in all the provinces of the DRC. It works closely with Gender and Media ministries; media houses and civil society organizations.
GL is a Southern African NGO established in 2001 with nine offices in the SADC region. GL’s vision is a region in which women and men are able to realise their potential in both their public and private lives in accordance with the provisions of the SADC Gender Protocol. GL coordinates the SGPA, a network of networks that campaigned for the adoption, and now the implementation of the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development. Since 2005, GL has led the Alliance in conducting research, monitoring and evaluation of the campaign and government’s progress towards implementation of the key provisions of the Protocol through the annual SADC Gender Protocol Barometer and documenting case studies of the Protocol@Work. Since 2011, the Alliance has been working closely with the SADC Gender Unit to provide technical assistance to national gender machineries to update national gender policies and develop costed gender action plans that are aligned to the SADC Gender Protocol.
GL Regional, as coordinator of the SGPA, works closely and has MOU’s with 15 national networks across the SADC region. In addition, GL works with nine regional organisations who are experts in various fields of gender equality. GL is now working with the SGPA members to lobby for the implementation of the Post 2015 SADC Gender Protocol. GL contributes to the attainment of the SADC Gender Protocol provisions by:
- Producing evidence based research on gender gaps and progress in the SADC region.
- Promoting gender equality in and through the media and in all areas of governance.
- Building the capacity of civil society to engage critically in democratic processes that advance equality and justice so as to foster a robust gender movement through coalition building.
- Building partnerships with civil society, governments, media and
GL’s main programme areas are gender justice, gender and governance, gender and media, coalition building for gender equality and economic empowerment.
Ways that the UCOFEM and GL have partnered to date
The MOU builds on several existing areas of collaboration such as:
- Collecting of country level data for the SADC Gender Protocol Barometer.
- Organising SADC Gender Protocol summits.
- Lobbying the national gender machinery on key gender issues.
- Mapping of country level gender work by the Protocol themes.
- Administering Monitoring and Evaluation surveys.
- Coalition building through national Alliance meetings.
- Collaboration at regional, continental and international gender platforms.
- Mutual interests.
UCOFEM and GL share the vision of a Southern Africa in which women and men are free to realize their full human potential through attaining gender equality. UCOFEM and GL have a strong working connection, since both are committed to the successful implementation of the Protocol. The UCOFEM and GL promote women’s advancement through engaging citizens, governments other civil society organizations and showcasing best practices in gender mainstreaming. The UCOFEM and GL promote effective policy dialogue through holding Governments accountable, networking and coalition building at the regional level. Both organizations share mutual interests to end poverty through inclusivity, economic empowerment of women, and implementation of the Protocol and gender equality.
- Goals and principles The goal of this MOU is to enhance inclusivity, gender equality and equity; and justice in Southern Africa in accordance to the provisions of the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development (2016), other national, regional and global gender equality instruments as well as the mission of UCOFEM and GL. The relationship will be guided by the principles of
- Open and frank dialogue and communication;
- Mutual trust;
- Transparency and accountability
Responsibilities of UCOFEM
- Guiding the development of realistic, regularly reviewed national action plans and their implementation in collaboration with in-country theme clusters
- Raising awareness on the key provisions of the Protocol, Sustainable Development Goals, Beijing Plus Twenty Review and African Union Agenda 2063 at a national level and producing information, education and communication materials relevant to the Protocol provisions.
- Reporting on progress of national Alliance activities.
- Raising and managing resources for national Alliance activities and reporting on those at the regional Alliance level.
- Identifying skills gap and support capacity building of the members of the cluster at regional and national levels.
- Co-opting necessary expertise for regional Alliance work as and when required.
- Administering monitoring and evaluation surveys related to the Protocol (Knowledge quiz, gender progress score, citizen score card).
- Contributing articles and blogs for the Roadmap to Equality newsletter.
- Active participation on the Alliance Community of Practice.
- Promoting the Alliance through co-branding and joint campaigns.
- Convening meetings for the national Alliance.
- Annual mapping of the national Alliance by cluster.
- Nominating representatives to participate in regional Alliance meetings.
- Giving input for the Regional and National Barometer.
Responsibilities of the coordinating NGO (Gender Links)
The coordinating body is mandated to facilitate activities of the Alliance in order to achieve the following eight key objectives:
- Mobilize to raise awareness on the content and process of the Protocol at national and regional levels, including the production of information, education and communication materials in appropriate formats.
- Strengthen meaningful coordination of the Alliance at national and regional level.
- To coordinate the strategy for signing, ratification and implementation of the Protocol.
- To contribute to capacity building for Alliance member to facilitate successful campaigning.
- To facilitate the documentation and evaluation of the implementation of the Protocol.
- To raise financial resources to facilitate the overall coordination of activities to achieve the stated objectives.
- To facilitate links with relevant regional and international organizations.
- To organize regional and national meetings as allowed by resources.
Implementing the MOU
GL and UCOFEM lead shall implement this MOU through the following ways:
- Joint convening concerning each organizations and partners.
- Joint knowledge production including but not limited to research, data visualization, materials production and sharing of knowledge.
- Joint research and campaigns that will track programmatic issues concerning each organization at a regional level or specified locality.
- Creating linkages with partners to promote the UCOFEM and GL’s regional mandates.
- Holding face to face and online meetings that will look at progress of implementing this MOU and map strategies for further actions identified by both parties.
- The National focal network/Cluster lead and GL may contribute pieces on blogs and share best practices that will advance regional and national work.
- Project- specific annexes This MOU is not a legally binding document. It is based on mutual interest and goodwill. In the event of a disagreement, the two parties will make every effort to resolve the matter through discussion and negotiation. If necessary a fraternal third party will be asked to mediate.
- Dispute resolution
- Terms of specific project collaboration between GL shall be annexed to this MOU at appropriate junctures.
- Should the UCOFEM lead wish to terminate this understanding they shall do so by providing a three month notice in writing to GL and vice versa.
- Amendments On behalf of UCOFEM On behalf of Gender Links
Anna Mayimona Ngemba Colleen Lowe Morna
Signed in ……………………………………on this ………… day of ………………………………………….. 2017….
Amendments to this MOU can be made through addendums appended to this document at any appropriate time by the two parties.