Gender Justice Barometer, Issue 2: April 2006

Date: July 30, 2009
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Southern Africa
Gender Justice Barometer
Issue 2: April 2006
The Gender Justice Barometer is a joint project of Gender Links and the Gender and Media Southern Africa (GEMSA) Network
In this issue:

1. : National Action Plan to End Violence Against Women and Children Conference  

2. Migrants find sex trade a dead end street  

3. World Health Organisation study shows high levels of domestic violence in  Tanzania

4. Zimbabwe needs a more radical approach to address domestic violence





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1. National Action Plan to End Violence Against Women and Children Conference  

South Africans from all walks of life will join forces at a watershed conference from 3-5 May to develop a National Action Plan to End Gender Violence.

The aim of the conference, which will be opened by Deputy President Phumzile-Mlambo Ngcuka, is to adopt a comprehensive, multi sector strategy and plan for ending violence against women and children.

A follow up to the Sixteen Days of Activism campaign that runs from 25 November to 10 December, the conference is being held under the banner: 365 days of action to end gender violence. (Read the background and concept paper)

Despite a progressive constitution and laws, levels of gender violence remain unacceptably high. Best practice from around the world suggests that what is required is a concerted, multi-sector action plan with concrete targets and measurable outputs.

The first such attempt in South Africa and in the SADC region, the National Action Plan will harness the momentum generated by a number of significant commemorations in 2006: the fact that this year will be the 16 years of the 16 days; that it is the 10th anniversary of the Constitution and the 50th anniversary of the march by South African women to the Union Buildings on 9 August.

Making use of the “checklist for changeÀ that emerged the 2005 Sixteen Day campaign that included nation wide cyber dialogues in three languages organised by the Government Information and Communication Services (GCIS) and Gender Links, the conference will agree on actions to be taken, timeframes, roles and responsibilities in ten thematic areas. This road map will enhance the annual Sixteen Day campaigns by showing how the commitments will be sustained and acted upon the whole year around.

With approximately 200 participants from all spheres including national, provincial and local government, Constitutional bodies like the Commission on Gender Equality, civil society, the private sector, traditional authorities, and labour organisations, the National Action Plan will develop a coordinating mechanism to ensure that effective action is taken by all sectors of society and that there is mutual accountability.

The conference is being organised by a joint government and civil society planning committee led by the Deputy Minister of Provincial and Local Government who is also the champion of the Sixteen Day campaign in government, with the support of UN agencies. Gender Links and the government Inter-Departmental Management Team are co-conveners of the conference.

The opening ceremony takes place at the Kopanong Hotel and Conference Centre in Benoni from 7pm on May 3 and will culminate in the adoption of the National Action Plan and establishment of a government-civil society steering committee to oversee and ensure its implementation from 12.00 to 13.00 on May 5.

This will include a symbolic recommitment to the clauses in the Constitution that affirm gender equality and the right to bodily integrity under the banner “Ten years later: Making the Constitution work for Women and Children.À

The main work of the conference, takes the form of working groups throughout the day on 4 May, in such areas as legislation and policy; the criminal justice system; gender violence and the work place; public education and awareness; the media; specialised services; comprehensive treatment and care; infrastructure and places of safety (see programme). Working groups will include panels of experts, decision-makers and practitioners chaired by senior political representatives.

For more information contact:
Department of Provincial and Local Government, Bheki Nkonyane, 082 453 8363 Gender Links, Janine Moolman: 083 324 5024
National Prosecuting Authority: Thoko Majokweni 083 305 9639  
To access the programme and list of participants, which are being updated daily, go to or and follow the link.

Logistical details:
Date: 3-5 May 2006
Venue: Kopanong Hotel and Conference Centre

Who to contact:
Travel and accommodation: Judi Merckel T: 011 À“ 622 2877 / 082 921 1938  
Airport Shuttle: Travel Manager: Mr Onius Dube, Cell: 083 308 8673
Programme: Nontobeko Dlamini T: 011 À“ 622 2877 / 072 945 2398

Click here and scroll down the page for the map and directions.

2. Migrants find sex trade a dead end street

Khopotso Nakin, director of the New Life Centre for Girls, an NGO in Johannesburg says that  of the estimated 10,000 commercial sex workers in Hillbrow, a rough inner-city neighbourhood where many hotels double as brothels, 20 percent come from other parts of Africa. Source: Irin News

3. World Health Organisation study shows high levels of domestic violence in Tanzania
Irin News reports that Tanzania is one of several low-income countries with a high rate of domestic violence. This is according to a recent study by the World Health Organization (WHO) on women’s health and domestic violence against women. The study found that one in 10 women had experienced sexual violence by a non-partner since the age of 15, with boyfriends and strangers being the most frequently mentioned perpetrators. About one out of 10 respondents reported sexual abuse before age 15. Source: Irin News

4. Zimbabwe needs a more radical approach to address domestic violence
Kamurai Mudzingwa, writing in The Herald newspaper in Zimbabwe argues that while tougher legislation to address domestic violence in the country is important, the problem needs a far more radical approach.
He writes: “Although legislation will go a long way in serving as a deterrent, women will remain vulnerable as long as cultural perceptions based on patriarchy remain unshaken.À Source:

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