Welcome to the October edition!

Welcome to the October edition!

Date: November 4, 2010
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Hello everybody!
Welcome to the October edition!

By Vivien Bakainaga

This is my first edition as the editor of Gender Linked, taking over from Mukayi. It’s exciting yet challenging to be gender-linked and keeping you connected within the GL family! I had to borrow the quote from my hero Nelson Mandela. I think GL has good leadership – good head, good staff and good heart – with this combination GL is blossoming in its adult phase.

First, a big congratulations to Gender Links for winning the Mail and Guardian “Investing in the Future” award for our work in local government. Gender Links has twice been a runner up for the Mail and Guardian’s Drivers of Change awards but this is the first time we’ve won. Well done! For more on the award click here.

October saw the successful hosting of the Fourth Gender & Media Summit where 20 countries were represented, including many from Africa, as well as Canada and India. Almost 140 delegates descended on Johannesburg’s Birchwood Hotel from 13-15 October. The delegates participated in an intriguing programme providing regional and international perspectives around Gender, Media, Diversity and Change. The award ceremony – our very own GL “Oscar Awards” – was all glamour and fun.

The guest of honour, Deputy Chairperson of the Independent Electoral Commission Thoko Mpumlwana, gave a brilliant speech applauding GL’s work. With our own DJ Roger we later stretched and moved our bodies to his many tunes to unwind after an exhausting week of hard work.

No prizes for guessing who has been working especially hard on staff. The Executive Director has been so swamped with finalising the writing of the Gender and Media Progress Study (GMPS), the regional and national Barometers, not to mention the many publication launches, and at the same time travelling to Europe to meet with donors, to name but a few!

October also saw the arrival of two external evaluators, Alemu Mammo and Sandra Ayoo, who are carrying out GL’s five year DFID/UNIFEM programme evaluation. This is taking place ahead of GL’s tenth anniversary next year. It is key to our institutional health, as well as to our future funding. They have been kept busy carrying out in-depth interviews with our partners, satellite offices and staff.

In Mauritius, Loga had the new attorney general and the minister of health. In Zambia there were high level officials from the ministry; In Zimbabwe, local government colleagues attended the launch and the permanent secretary spoke glowingly about GL’s work.

In Botswana, GL capped a successful run of Barometer launches by being hosted by the SADC Secretariat itself, and having the Executive Secretary of SADC receive the publication and speak warmly about the contribution that the gender sector is making to progress in the region.

Our Board Member Pinkie Mekgwe officiated and later organised a high profile meeting with the
International Affairs Department of the University of Botswana where she now works about strengthening our long term partnership, including the exciting news that the university is starting a gender studies centre.

GL has also been short-listed for further funding from DFID under its most flexible civil society funding arm, the PPA. About 400 organisations applied and only 40 were shortlisted. We have some hard selling to do before the process closes on 30 October, but the presentation done by our ED and M&E Manager at the DFID meeting was well received by top DFID decision-makers.

Finally, the tragic news of the death of Andrew Jones and the shooting of his wife Kubeshini Govender Jones in the shoulder, came as a shock to all of us. Andrew had been filming the GEM Awards and he was due to fly to Mauritius on GL assignment. This couple have had a long-standing relationship with GL, especially the ED, and it hit close home. May Andrew’s soul rest in peace and we wish Kubeshini a quick recovery, both physically and emotionally.

Happy reading and stay tuned for November news.


All our board members have been very supportive sending in their accolades to staff and ED for winning the Mail and Guardian “Investing in the Future” award for our work in local government.

As well, board members have also been actively involved in GL’s work in other countries. In Botswana, Pinkie Mekgwe officiated over the launch of the Botswana Barometer. In November, Eduardo Namburete will officiate the launch of the GMPS in Mozambique, along with helping open a Gender Links field office in Mozambique and the Lusophone opinion and commentary service. In addition, Eduardo took an active part in the recent GEM Summit.

To put a cherry on our award cake, board member Thenjiwe Mtintso hosted all head office staff for a special lunch on 4 November 2010 in an ambassadorial style! Thanks to all of them for their ongoing support of all GL activities.

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