SADC: Gender Links online during lockdown

SADC: Gender Links online during lockdown

Date: April 7, 2020
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Johannesburg 27 March: Gender Links staff will work virtually across ten Southern African countries during the 21 day lock down that started in South Africa, our headquarters, today. “Although there are different regulations now in the different countries where we work, we are one family, and have decided to take a unified approach in the best interests of our staff and their families,” noted GL Chair Emily Brown. “Being accessible and engaged during this period is not only important for our work but also our well-being.”  See Gender Links #WFH

‘Now more than ever before women’s rights are at risk,” added GL CEO Colleen Lowe Morna. “While we cannot be on the ground in the way we are used to, we need to continue our research, advocacy and training work using the tools at our disposal.”

Announcing the three week lock down from 27 March to 16 April, President Cyril Ramaphosa urged organisations that are able to continue working virtually to do so.

The GL Board will hold its 1 May Board meeting virtually. The Board also decided to postpone the SADC Protcol@Work regional summit to a date when it will be deemed safe for over 200 participants from around the SADC region to travel to Johannesburg.

Through its Making IT work for Gender Justice programme, GL pioneered cyber dialogues long before online chats became the norm. This facility continues through GL’s Community of Practice. Internally, GL teams are linked through a variety of  IT tools – Microsoft teams, Sharepoint, Zoom and WhatsApp. GL has long had a flexi time policy that enabled staff to work from home at their choice, and under certain circumstances, prior to the lockdown.

In the last week, GL management has made the following arrangements to facilitate work-from-home for all staff:

  • A survey of staff needs including Internet access, space, furniture, child care and socio-psycho needs.
  • Measures to mitigate any hardships faced, including an across- the- board allowance for telecommunications and Internet access.
  • Electronic sign in, sign out and time sheets to ensure accountability.
  • Daily virtual team meetings and weekly staff meetings for guidance.
  • Online support from a counsellor.
  • Prioritisation and reorganising of work into what is most important and can be done virtually. Examples of work being undertaken are donor reports and funding applications; the 2020 to 2025 Strategy; annual report; learning papers; systems maintenance; contacts data bases; website updating and maintenance; improvements to the Community of Practice; help desks for various areas of programme work; the annual staff Learning Journey and the #VoiceandChoice Barometer. In 2020 this flagship publication will have a special focus on the effects of the corona virus on Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights.
  • An agreement with our auditors, BDO, to complete our annual organisational audit virtually. This has been made possible by real time online branch accounting coupled with digitisation of all our financial documentation.
  • Online support from our finance, IT and communications service providers.
  • Online training course in GL’s Integrity Policies.
  • An induction course with team members for a new staff member.
  • Sharpening the online tools for administering the Women Voice and Leadership Grant on behalf of Global Affairs Canada. Independent assessors will continue to work online to complete the process, now in mid-stream after the first call went out on 21 January.

Staff at GL’s sister organisation, the GL Cottages and Conferencing Centre, are mostly on leave, except for a small core staff ensuring security or working virtually on the annual audit. GL Services will continue to offer desk- based advisory services.

For further information please contact GL Marketing, Integrity and Compliance Manager: Deborah Mukuku:

One thought on “SADC: Gender Links online during lockdown”

Leonora says:

Thank you Gender link Management , bord member’s and staff members and activest agenst gender base violence for all the gud work you are doing.

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