Fourth SADC Gender Protocol@Work Summit: 2015-Action and Results

Fourth SADC Gender Protocol@Work Summit: 2015-Action and Results

Date: August 7, 2015
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Gaborone, 7 August: Gender Links and the Southern Africa Gender Protocol Alliance will host the fourth SADC Gender Protocol@Work summit and awards in Gaborone, Botswana from 10-11 August 2015. Under the strapline, 2015-Action and results, the summit focuses on progress made towards achieving the 28 targets of the SADC Gender Protocol as well as action in strengthening the regional instrument Post- 2015.

Keynote speakers include Botswana Vice President Mokgweetsi Masisi, Executive Director of UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka, Minister of Labour and Home Affairs Edwin Bhatshu, Malawi Minister of Gender, Children, Disability and Social Welfare Patricia Kaliati as well as representatives of SADC Troika Member States. The Troika comprises the past chair of SADC (Malawi); present chair (Zimbabwe) and forthcoming chair (Botswana). SADC Executive Secretary Dr Stergomena Lawrence Tax, the first woman ES of SADC, and her representatives will also speak at and participate in the summit.

The summit takes place on the eve of the SADC Heads of State summit in Botswana, one of the two SADC countries that is not signatory to the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development (the other is Mauritius). Ironically the campaign for the Protocol began in Botswana during a review of the tenth anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women (Beijing Plus Ten) in 2005. Heads of State signed the Protocol, a unique sub-regional instrument with 28 targets to be achieved by 2015 (also the deadline for the Millennium Development Goals) in Johannesburg in 2008.

The SADC Gender Protocol Alliance, a “network of civil society networks” formed to campaign for the Protocol, will use the regional summit to launch and engage with the findings of the 2015 SADC Gender Protocol Barometer. The Barometer is a yearly measure of progress across different thematic areas of the SADC Gender Protocol coordinated by Gender Links (GL), a regional gender justice organisation that provides the Secretariat to the Alliance.

The 2015 SADC Gender Protocol found that using both the empirical SADC Gender and Development Index (SGDI) and SADC Citizen Score Card (CSC), a perception based score, the region has failed to reach most of the 28 targets of the Protocol. With SGDI and CSCs scores of 68% and 67% respectively, the region is only two thirds of where it should have reached by 2015 using these measures. This underscores the theme of the 2015 barometer: A Strong Post -2015 agenda: Action and Results!

At their annual meeting in Malawi last year, and in Harare in May this year, gender ministers agreed to review the targets of the SADC Gender Protocol in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Africa Agenda 2063 and the Beijing Plus Twenty Review that is also taking place this year. The ministers also agreed that the Protocol should be accompanied by a Monitoring, Evaluation and Results (MER) Framework.

In her foreword to the 2015 Barometer, UNWOMEN Executive Director and former Deputy President of South Africa Dr Mlambo- NgcukaI writes: I am a firm believer in the dictum that what is not counted does not count. Until we start making gender equality count, there will be no point in count-downs. I have made counting down to gender equality an indispensable part of my mission at the UN, and committed to a Planet 50:50 by 2030.”

Chairperson of the Alliance Emma Kaliya notes that the Botswana summit is a unique opportunity to “review where we have come from; revisit the targets of the Protocol; affirm the excellent work being done at the local and national level in the region; as well as encourage Botswana and Mauritius to join this movement for change. There is no turning back. This is the call of history!”

The summit will

  • Take stock of the progress made in the SADC region since the historic signing of the SADC gender protocol in August 2008.
  • Formulate strategies to strengthen the SADC Gender Protocol post 2015.
  • Build linkages between civil society and government work on the ground as part of the broader objective of gender responsive governance and accountability.


The summit brings together over 180 delegates from 14 SADC countries. This year the summit has broadened its reach, starting with 15 district level summits in seven countries with a total reach of 455 participants and thirteen national summits reaching 1465 participants in total. After the regional gathering in Botswana the summit will have reached 2059 SADC citizens, an increase from 1400 in 2013 and 1961 in 2014. Participants will present case studies in Entrepreneurship, Local Government Centres of Excellence, Government and the Gender in Media Education (GIME) categories. Side meetings include:

  • GL and Southern Africa Broadcasting Association (SABA) training workshops for gender focal points (10-11 August)
  • Meeting of institutions working in the area of gender in journalism and media education (11 August)
  • SADC Gender Protocol Alliance (11-12 August)

For more information contact: Keabonye Ntsabane on 267 73188250; Lucia Makamure on 27 (0) 710358896 or visit: SADC Gender Protocol Barometer 2015; Summit 2015 background information


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