Southern Africa: Six national gender summits down, seven to go!

Southern Africa: Six national gender summits down, seven to go!

Date: October 28, 2014
  • SHARE:

Johannesburg, 23 April: As five Gender Protocol@Work Summits in Botswana, Lesotho, Namibia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe ended last week after awarding gender drivers of change, summits in Mauritius, South Africa and Zambia get underway this week.

The first six of 13 SADC Protocol@Work Summit Awards have rewarded individuals and institutions for gender mainstreaming work in Alliance and coalition building; Government, Media, Leadership, Gender based violence, 5050, Women’s rights, climate change and emerging entrepreneurship. The summit awards also call on governments to account for their commitment to gender equality in the critical countdown to 2015- the deadline for the SADC Gender and Development Protocol.

At Botswana’s colourful summit award ceremony in Gaborone, Gender Links (GL) and the SADC Gender Protocol Alliance, used the opportunity to launch the 2013 Botswana Gender Protocol Barometer. “SADC is indeed honoured to be a part of the launching of the Botswana Barometer, despite the fact that Botswana has not yet signed the SADC Gender and Development Protocol. It is testimony to the fact that the Protocol is being put to work even where it is not formally in effect. I congratulate Botswana,” said Head of SADC Gender Unit Magdeline Mathiba-Madibela in her keynote address. She also went on to say that there is no reason why Botswana should not sign the Protocol. “Yes we must, the time is now to achieve equality between women and men in SADC!”

Winner of the Botswana print media award and budding young journalist Tebogo Baker said the award came as a surprise and he wants to use the opportunity to encourage youth to take a stand and use their work to fight gender-based violence. “I want to influence change not only in my country but worldwide with my writing because I discovered there is power in my word.”

Colleen Lowe Morna, CEO of GL urged participants of the Lesotho summit to use the event as a platform for furthering the work gender equality and cascading the local government quota to the national level. “The theme for all summits is 50/50 by 2015 and demanding a strong post 2015 agenda! Lesotho is doing very well in women’s participation in local government, where we have 49%, which is the highest in SADC and it reminds us across the region, that women’s equal participation in political decision-making is possible,” explained Lowe Morna.

In her opening speech, Namibia’s Deputy Minister of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, Angelika Muharukua expressed commitment to the call to highlight 5050 and the post 2015 agenda saying, “The Government of the Republic of Namibia is well on course in terms of the 50-50 representation. I am on record as saying that the Ministry has embarked on a campaign ‘road to equality’.”

Anne Hilton, Economic Justice Manger from GL, said it was encouraging to witness the enthusiasm shown by all those who attended, “The summit provides a framework of hope, knowing that gender issues can be addressed with the will of those who care and the changing of minds through constructive interaction.”

In Matsapha, the Swaziland summit judges commended participants for their efforts in demonstrating how they are implementing the provisions of the SADC Protocol. GL Swaziland Board Member- Bennedict Bennett said, “This event would not have been possible without you. You are all winners indeed.” Raymond Mhishi, who won the award for climate change, refused to take the credit for the award and instead gave all credit to the women he works with at the dumpsite. Mhishi collects waste material and weaves it into designs, clothes and accessories.

The Zimbabwe awards dinner was held at Pandhare Hotel in Harare. The summit featured 67 entries from six provinces of Zimbabwe in a variety of categories. GL awarded 12 winners and nine runners up. Kadoma City Council scooped most of the prizes collecting a total of five awards. The ceremony was graced by the Zimbabwe Minister of Local Government, Public Works and National Housing- Dr Ignatius Chombo who re-affirmed Zimbabwe’s commitment toward gender equality and striving for 50/50.

With six national summits down, there are now seven more to go: The Mauritius summit kicked off this morning, while Zambia and South Africa start tomorrow. Mauritius, Zambia, South Africa, have brought in 72, 42 and 51 entries respectively. Kubi Rama-GL Deputy CEO, expressed how gratifying it is to see gender drivers of changing being acknowledged for their fight for gender equality and to witness their excitement to compete at the Regional Summit. “If last week is anything to go by, this week’s summits will undoubtedly be successful and my anticipation for the competition at regional level is certainly growing.”

Upcoming summit dates:

  • Tanzania: 27 to 30 April
  • Malawi: 27 to 30 April
  • Mozambique: 27 to 30 April
  • DRC: 5 to 8 May
  • Regional Summit in Johannesburg, South Africa: 26 to 28 May

Make you voice heard on the post 2015 agenda survey

For more information please contact Katherine Robinson




Comment on Southern Africa: Six national gender summits down, seven to go!

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *