Southern Africa: British High Commission set to host launch of 2014 SADC Gender Protocol Barometer

Date: August 22, 2014
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Johannesburg, 22 August: On Monday 25 August 2014, in commemoration of Women’s Month in South Africa, the British High Commission in Pretoria will host the launch of the 2014 SADC Gender Protocol Barometer. The UK Department for International Development (DFID) has joined forces with civil society and the European Union to support the publication of the Barometer by Gender Links and the Southern Africa Gender Protocol Alliance, co-led by South Africa Women in Dialogue (SAWID).

Mike Hammond, Head of DFID Southern Africa, Roeland van der Geer, Head of the EU Delegation to South Africa, the Director-General of the Ministry of Women in the Presidency, Colleen Lowe Morna, CEO of Gender Links, and representatives of the Southern Africa Gender Protocol Alliance will be speaking at the launch.

The Barometer was first unveiled at the SADC Gender Ministers Meeting in Malawi and then launched by Oppah Muchinguri, Zimbabwe Minister of Women Affairs, Gender and Community Development at the 10th Southern African Civil Society Forum on 28 July.

The Barometer uses two measures for progress; the SADC Gender and Development Index, that evaluates 23 empirical indicators in six areas and the Citizen Score Card that measures citizen perceptions of their government performance on delivering the 28 targets of the SADC Gender and Development Protocol.

The 2014 Barometer reveals that there are still claw back clauses in some constitutions that undercut gender equality provision but on the progress side eleven countries have reviewed their constitutions with progressive clauses on gender. On the governance side, the recent elections in South Africa and Malawi have contributed to low women’s representation in the region. With 26% women in parliament and 24% in local government, the region is unlikely to achieve the original 30% target for women in decision-making, let alone the gender parity target, by the end of 2015. The barometer calls for an adoption of a rights based approach in education which is one of the better performing target areas in the region. Women in economic decision making still remains low and access to resources for women is still difficult. Sexual violence against women and girls remains high in the region but strong legislative frameworks on gender based violence are in place.

Progress has been made in the field of HIV and AIDS with the rate of infections decreasing in the region. Progress has been made in the media field with media houses entrenching gender equality in editorial policies. Implementation of the protocol remains the same with 13 countries having signed and 12 having ratified the protocol. Progress has been made by the SADC Gender Protocol Alliance networks in advocacy work on the post 2015 agenda with targets coupled with indicators.

Emma Kaliya, the Alliance Chairperson called on all stakeholders to review the SADC Gender Protocol in light of the 2015 deadline during the SADC Gender Ministers meeting held in Malawi ahead of the SADC Heads of State summit in July 2014.

Other key new research reports that track progress on South Africa’s commitments to gender equality are to be launched on Monday. These include:
– The Gender-Based Violence Indicators research study in the KwaZulu-Natal Province of South Africa.
– The Gender in the 2014 South African National Elections Report.

Expressions of interest to cover this event and interview requests should be addressed to the following:

Hooman Nouruzi
Head of Communications
British High Commission, Pretoria
Tel: +27 (0) 12 421 7596+27 (0) 12 421 7596
Mobile: +27 (0) 83 252 8431+27 (0) 83 252 8431

Nomthandazo Mankazana
South Africa Alliance Programme
Gender Links, Johannesburg
Tel: +27 11 622 2877+27 11 622 2877
Mobile: +27 73 920 2165+27 73 920 2165

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