Gender Justice Barometer, Issue 33, March 2009

Date: July 2, 2009
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Sixteen Days Special

MARCH  2009

* Regional: Southern Africa  Protocol Alliance meets
* Botswana: Civil society pressurise government to sign the SADC Gender Protocol
* Namibia: Gender legislation futile if not implemented

* ‘An opportunity to do things differently
* Global: Global gender pay gap bigger than previously thought
* South Africa: Private sector tops rankings for number of women in management positions
* Political struggles worth it for Zimbabwean politician
* International: More work less pay
* South Africa: Land lightens women’s care burden
* Namibia: ‘I’ stories – Girls speaking out
* Are laptops and cell phones fueling sexual violence?
* Top 10 lame excuses men make to justify violence against women

* Mauritius: Finance and accounting course for small scale women entrepreneurs

* Namibia: National budget under scrutiny with a gender lens Global: Form of New U.N. Women’s Entity Still Nebulous

* South Africa: Human trafficking legislation to be gazetted for public comment
* South Africa: Questioning South African leaders
* Regional: Gender and leadership. Join the  great debates!
* VOX POPS: What makes a good leader?  
* Global: NGOs demand say in violence data bank
* Africa: Kenya gender festival
* South Africa: Media: Soul City


South Africa: Human trafficking legislation to be gazetted for public comment
By Nthambeleni Gabara

Significant progress has been made in the drafting of legislation on human trafficking and it should be gazetted soon for public comment.

“We are proud to state that we have achieved progress in terms of the proposed legislation on human trafficking which will be gazetted shortly for public comment,” Minister in the Presidency, Dr Manto Tshabalala-Msimang, told the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) in Pretoria.

According to the minister, poverty and unemployment increased the opportunities for trafficking in women. New forms of sexual exploitation included sex tourism; the recruitment of domestic labour from developing countries to work in developed countries and organised marriages between women from developing countries and foreign nationals which are incompatible with the equal enjoyment of rights by women.

South Africa does not currently have a legal definition of human trafficking, either in common law or in statute. The legislation on human trafficking will go a long way in identifying the perpetrators of human trafficking, as well as in the investigation of these cases and subsequent prosecution. The committee focused on Harmful Traditional Practices following reports of child abduction, forced and early marriages as part of the “ukuthwala” tradition being practiced in the Eastern Cape. Click here to read full article
Source: Bua News

South Africa: Questioning South African leaders

By Mandhla Masingi
I always fall into a debate with my aunt, every time I go home to see my family at Makosha village outside Giyani; and this time around was no different. It started when I asked her if she had registered to vote.
Her answer was as fierce as an angry beast as she thundered with no full stop that she is going to vote for the same party she has voted for since 1994, and that I must not think of recruiting her to join any new party. It was easy to guess that she was referring to the country’s newest political party, Congress of the People (COPE).
However, despite her deeply held and well argumented beliefs, to me, she, as with many others in the country, have yet to recognise the leadership crisis our country is currently experiencing. Heading into the final days before the 22 April polls, looking over the last few months presents a scary picture.
ANC youth President Julius Malema’s history of comments speaks volumes. Most famous for the notorious “I will kill for ZumaÀ statements, his party also forced him to apologise to education Minister Naledi Pandor after “fake American accentÀ comments. He incensed gender activists, suggesting, in reference to the woman who accused Jacob Zuma of rape, “When a woman didn’t enjoy it, she leaves early in the morning. Those who had a nice time will wait until the sun comes out, request breakfast and ask for taxi money.”   Read full article
Source: GL Opinion and Commentary Service
Regional: Gender and leadership. Join the  great debates!
We do not have to look too far around us to know that leadership can make or break whole countries. What makes a great leader, and where does gender feature in the checklist for good leadership? Six  elections  are taking place in Southern Africa in 2009 (South Africa, Malawi, Angola, Botswana, Namibia  and  Mozambique). The Gender and Media Diversity Centre hosted by Gender Links will be conducting a series of debates on gender and leadership. The outcomes of these debates will add to the construction of a regional checklist on “Accountable and responsive leadership”
The 2008 SADC Protocol on Gender and Development calls for 50 percent representation by women in all areas of decision-making by 2015 (Article 12.1).   The Protocol also calls for measures to ensure that women can participate meaningfully in decision-making so that their presence becomes a driving force for gender equality in the region.
Four thematic  debates have been held so far in Botswana, South Africa and Zambia around the upcoming elections in the respective countries. The next great debate will be held in Johannesburg on the 17th of April around issues of polygamy and leadership.
How to get involved
> Host a Gender and Leadership debate whose outcomes can be added to the checklist! Contact
> Write a commentary for the daily GL Opinion and Commentary Service or a longer article for the next issue of the GMDC Gender and Media Diversity Journal that will be launched on 3 May- World Press Freedom Day. Contact
> Post your comments on what you think makes a good leader by clicking here.
Click here to read more

VOX POPS: What makes a good leader?  
Citizens on the streets of Johannesburg were posed with the question – What do you think makes a good leader ?

If you do not have a vision you not a leader. Respect is very important, for yourself and to the people that you are going to be leading. I think leaders should do more research in what ever they are trying to accomplish. If you are leading people, you have to know their needs – Thelma Thabiso Thibedi, Art Director. Read more

Global: NGOs demand say in violence data bank

By Loveness Jambaya Nyakujarah and Colleen Lowe Morna
The 53rd session of the United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) observed International Women’s Day (IWD), with the launch of a data base on gender violence. The theme of this year’s IWD on 8 March is “Women and men unite to end violence against women and girls.
But non-governmental organisations (NGOs)  expressed concern that this data base will only house government statistics. Pointing out that this is one area in which data is not only sparse but often unreliable, they say it is essential to draw on NGO resources if an accurate and composite picture is to be assembled.
A pilot project now under way in Southern African to gather baseline data on gender violence is an example of why governments and NGOs need to work together in this critical area. The Southern African Development Community (SACD) Protocol on Gender and Development aims to reduce current rates of gender violence by half by 2015. The question that arises is: what are current levels of GBV, and how will reduction be measured.  Click here for full article
Source: GL Opinion and Commentary Service and was also featured in the daily newspaper published during this year’s CSW 53rd Session,   Daily Links @ CSW
Africa: Kenya gender festival
The Gender Festival is an open forum that brings together feminist and gender-focused groups, other civil society organizations/institutions, activists and other development actors working at various levels. These organizations reflect, share experiences, build capacity, strategise and plan collectively. This has also served as a networking forum for stakeholders in and out of the host country on the questions of gender, gender equality, feminism, sexuality and the intersections between these and power (both public and private).
The festival will is a platform for:

>  Networking nationally, regionally and internationally
> Stocktaking of the Women’s Movement
>  Influencing National Policy
>  Celebrating Women’s Gains (creatively and diversely)
> Identifying Gaps and Challenges

Dates: April 15-17, 2009
Venue: The Vice Chancellor’s Court- University of Nairobi’s graduation square.
Click here to read more
Regional:  Southern Africa  Protocol Alliance meets
The  Southern Africa Protocol Alliance met in March to provide feedback on what has been happening in member states with regard to ratification of the SADC Gender and Development Protocol for member states that signed the instrument in August last year. The Alliance reiterated that ratification is now urgent if States are going to implement and meet set targets by 2015 and it is hoped that they do so before the next SADC Heads of State Summit this year. the non signing by other member states such as Botswana, Malawi and Mauritius came under the spotlight with all participants under scoring the need for SADC States to move in one direction. Civil society will continue to apply pressure to ensure that governments move on to ratify the Protocol.
The Alliance also took the opportunity to sharpen the strategies on how it would play a part in popularising the Protocol.   Mauritius civil society through MWO-GEMSA has shown the way by taking the Protocol to the villages so that ordinary women and men  can use the instrument as a framework to claim their rights.   The  Alliance, now organised in six thematic clusters – gender and governance; gender based violence; economic justice; constitutional and legal rights; gender and media and  Health, sexual and reproductive rights and HIV and AIDS identified priority areas for each of these around which work in 2009 will be focused.
The SADC Alliance is in the process of printing simplified versions of the SADC Gender Protocol into about 25 SADC local languages as  part of popularising the instrument.
Botswana: Civil society pressurise government to sign the SADC Gender Protocol
BOCONGO (Botswana NGO Coalition) Gender and Development Sector, which has been spearheading the campaign on the adoption and implementation of the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development in Botswana, together with partner organisations paid a visit to the Minister of Labour and Home Affairs  Mr.  Peter Siele on  4 February 2009. The portfolio for women’s affairs is within this Ministry. The purpose of the meeting was to follow-up on the  non signing  of the Gender Protocol by the Botswana Government. The agenda focused on the main reasons for non signing by the government, and the way forward towards in achieving the ultimate goal of signing and implementing it. Aside from the Minister, government was represented by the Permanent Secretary Segakweng Tsiane, Director of Women’s s Affairs Department     Mrs M. Legwaila and other officials.
The Minister was receptive and reiterated the commitment by government to work closely with civil society on gender equality issues. In response to the question regarding the non signing of the Protocol by government, the Minister said further and extensive consultations are underway. He assured BOCONGO that Botswana is in agreement with the general principles of the Protocol and that they are  doing their level best To sensitise all relevant stakeholders, including seeking a legal opinion from the Attorney General on some aspects of the Protocol that may have implications under constitutional law. Botswana Media Association and Gender Links were represented at this meeting
Namibia: Gender legislation futile if not implemented
Moses Magadza

Namibian women’s rights activists say existing gender legislation has failed to improve women’s lives because it is not being implemented widely enough. Last August, Namibia signed the Southern African Development Community (SADC) gender protocol but politicians have yet to ratify it.

Lucy Edwards, a feminist activist and sociology lecturer at the University of Namibia in Windhoek, says government needs to put laws into practice, especially with regard to women’s reproductive rights and maternal mortality.

“I would like to see laws that infringe on the reproductive rights of women either repealed or reformed,” she explained. “To give an example, under Namibian law, abortion is outlawed, except in special circumstances, such as rape. This has led to unwanted pregnancies, unsafe abortions, baby dumping and infanticide.”

Edwards highlighted the fact that legislation is only effective if it is accompanied with financial support and strategies for implementation. Read full article
Source: IPS Africa

‘An opportunity to do things differently’
Stanley Kwenda interviews THERESA MUGADZA, Feminist Political Education Project
The early signs are not promising – the Joint Monitoring and Implementation Committee (JOMIC), the body which will monitor all parties’ compliance with the Global Political Agreement (GPA) was formed Jan. 30. Of its 12 members, only three are women, one from each party, strongly suggesting a token presence.

IPS spoke with Theresa Mugadza, a lawyer, human rights activist and one of the coordinators of the Feminist Political Education Project (FePEP), which has actively engaged regional and national leaders throughout the contested elections and the negotiations since. FePEP also works with ordinary women inside Zimbabwe, as part of ensuring that women’s voices and views are part of the political development of Zimbabwe. View full interview

Source: IPS Africa

Global: Global gender pay gap bigger than previously thought

A new report released by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC)  online has revealed that the pay gap between men and women worldwide may be much higher than official government figures. The report, “Gender (in)Equality in the Labour MarketÀ, is based on survey results of some 300,000 women and men in 20 countries. It puts the global pay gap at up to 22%, rather than the 16.5% figure taken from official government figures and released by the ITUC on March 8 last year.

The report also confirms previous findings that union membership, and particularly the inclusion of women in collective bargaining agreements, leads to much better incomes for both women and men, as well as better pay for women relative to their male co-workers. Read full article

South Africa: Private sector tops rankings for number of women in management positions
SOUTH African private businesses employ more women in senior management positions than their global counterparts, but there is still a long way to go to address gender imbalances in the workplace, according to Grant Thornton’s annual International Business Report.
The report, which was issued yesterday, showed that 73% of privately held businesses in SA employed women in senior management positions, which was 10% higher than the global average of 63%. But it also showed that there was still a long way to go in addressing gender imbalances, as only 28% of total management posts in SA were filled by women.
This still compares well relative to the rest of the world, where women hold only 24% of management posts. Jeanette Hern, partner and head of corporate finance at Grant Thornton Johannesburg, said it was “disappointing” that the government’s focus on empowerment of women had not yet been reflected in the workplace. Read full article
Political struggles worth it for Zimbabwean politician
Miriam Madziwa with Lucia Matibenga
In 2007, Lucia Matibenga was among 15 ZCTU leaders arrested and tortured by police when they tried to attend a rally aginst low wages and the authorities’ inaction on HIV/AIDS. Matibenga, the only woman in the group, suffered a fractured arm, perforated eardrum and bruised kidneys. Matibenga recounts the daily struggles of being a woman politician.
My first assignment for the MDC was contesting a Parliamentary seat in Shurugwi. My biggest challenge was resources to campaign. There were no party primary elections because all that was needed was bravery to stand up to the ruling Zimbabwe African National Union Patriotic Front (ZANU-PF)’s violence.  I knew campaigning would be tough but I was confident I would measure up.   However, I had not budgeted for the magnitude of the violence. I campaigned at night, as it was just too dangerous to campaign during the day because ZANU-PF supporters would beat up anyone suspected of supporting my party.
When I lost, I mounted a court challenge because I felt strongly that the entire election process was not free or fair. Even party leaders were reluctant to support my challenge. Although I lost the case, it showed me that people have amazing willpower once they decide to support a cause.   The women brave enough to testify made me fully appreciate the sacrifices Zimbabweans were making to support the MDC.  Click here to read full article
Source: GL Opinion and Commentary Service
International: More work less pay
By Mercedes Sayagues
“No, my mommy doesn’t work,À chirped the children. Never mind that the average mother puts in 30 hours of unpaid domestic work every week. The children could not see it. Neither did governments or institutes of statistics. Their work was invisible, unpaid, and unrecognised.
That was in 1983 and the children were interviewed in a video presented at the Latin American and Caribbean Feminist Conference in Peru. A quarter of a century later, women’s unpaid work is very visible thanks to a new tool, time use surveys, adopted in 2007 by all governments in the Latin American region.
Some Southern African countries have already benefitted from knowledge gained through time use surveys about the scope of women’s work, especially related to HIV and AIDS care. However, gender differences in time use will soon be much clearer. The Gender and Development Protocol signed by the majority of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) leaders (except, Botswana, Mauritius, and Malawi) In August 2008 commits signatories to conduct time use studies and adopt policy measures to ease the burden of women’s multiple roles by 2015.
Time use surveys are detailed questionnaires that note what men, women and youth do in their time À“ the hours spent in cleaning, cooking, washing, caring for children, the sick, the elderly, the disabled and pets, shopping, waiting for transport, fetching water and firewood, at church, doing sports, and hundreds of other activities. The result is an accurate picture of women and girls’ disproportionate burden of unpaid domestic and family work.  Read full article
Source: GL Opinion and Commentary Service and  featured in CSW53 Today, a daily newspaper run by GL and  GEMSA  during CSW 53rd session. Click here to read CSW 53 full edition
South Africa: Land lightens women’s care burden
Emily Tlale with Loveness Jambaya

I am Emily Tlale from the Dennilton (Twane) village in South Africa. I work in community development with particular focus on advocating for women’s land access and care giving. While advocating for the rights of communities who are reclaiming land through the land reform programme, I discovered that many landless people, especially women, orphans, and vulnerable children at heads of households have problems accessing land and proper housing. That is why in 2000, I decided to combine my work advocating for land access with volunteering as a care giver for people affected by HIV and AIDS.

I think that government is not supporting care workers sufficiently. I end up using my own money to assist patients and their immediate families with what they need. Most people in the community I work live below the poverty line. They cannot afford many of the basic costs. For example, I buy soap for and food for them.
This how the issue of land access in the context of care work becomes imperative. Women and vulnerable groups who have access to land can grow crops to ensure good nutrition, especially when one needs to take very potent medication like anti-retroviral drugs. I also accompany the patients to go to hospital using my own resources. Click here to read full article
Source: GL Opinion and Commentary Service and  featured in  a daily newspaper, Daily Links @ CSW run by GL and  GEMSA  during CSW 53rd session. Click here to read CSW 53 full edition
Namibia: ‘I’ stories – Girls speaking out

Sarry Xoagus-Eises
The “I: story booklet was launched in style with   300 women attending, at a Gala Dinner organised by   Women of Substance in Namibia. GEMSANaM was given the opportunity to show case the   “Stories and share with other women, trials and tribulation these girls have gone through. The booklet exposed atrocities these girls have   gone through. They were raped, their rights violated by those society regarded as guardians, friends and family members. The booklet revealed untold suffering these girls have to put up with on daily basis.
The   “I” story booklet was launched by three very important women Politicians in the country. They were the First lady of Namibia, Madam Penehupifo Pohamba, Minister of Fiance Saara Kuugongelwa-Amadhilaa and deputy Minister of Education Becky Ndoze Ojo.

Launching the book Madam Pohamba, thanked GEMSANaM and Partners for  initiating the concept of story writing, whereby educating the nation about Gender based violence in the country.
Said Madam Pohamba: ” It also give those in power especially government and the Ministry of Gender Equality and Child Welfare, to embark on policies and programmes to help stem the abuse of women and children.

The first Lady said, Namibia has recognised the negative impact gender based violence has on women and girls in general. She said the occurrence of violence in homes, schools and even on streets does affect the progress of young   girls and women to contribute effectively to nation building and growth. said the Madam Pohamba.
The book covers topics such as Gender based violence and abuse, incest, rape,HIV and AIDS and economic abuse just to name a few.  “It is important to note here that the these first hand eyewitness accounts, are not for any bodies comfort. They are told with rawness and pain   with which, this young girls are experiencing says GEMSANaM at the launch. “These   “I” stories will shock   and upset you, but for educational and awareness raising that abuse does exist in family homes, its a good literature concluded GEMSANaM
About 20 girls between the ages   from 20-25 years shared their stories with the region. This year GEMSANaM and Partners will be   targeting the Prisons.
Are laptops and cell phones fueling sexual violence?
An advocacy group argues in a new paper that worldwide consumption of cellphones and laptops help fuel widespread sexual violence in the Democratic Republic of Congo. The paper, “Can You Hear Congo Now? Cell Phones, Conflict Minerals, and the Worst Sexual Violence in the World,” details how “conflict minerals” that are mined in the war-torn DRC are sold by rebel groups to purchase arms, and serve as a direct cause of widespread sexual violence in the war-torn country.
Working with other non-governmental organisations, the Enough Project has spent the last year researching the supply chains that link these conflict minerals to many of the world’s most demanded electronics, including cell phones, portable music players and computers.
DRC has suffered from violence brought on by the “resource curse” for well over a century. Over the past decade, various militias and military units that have dominated conflict-ridden areas of the country have vied for control of mineral-rich areas and their inhabitants in part by using sexual violence. Click here to read full article
Top 10 lame excuses men make to justify violence against women
Since 1993, I have had the unique opportunity to lead or co-lead discussions with men about men’s violence against women. I have been in the room with tens of thousands of men – across racial and class lines and educational levels – all over the world. I’ve worked with doctors, Marines, soldiers, cadets, police officers, Division I male athletes, men in youth detention centers, men in mandated battering intervention programs, fraternity members (white and non-white), and male administrators on college and university campuses.
After 16 years of doing this work, I can just about predict the kind of things we men will say to avoid talking about the real issues. Here they go:
> Some women think you don’t love them if you don’t hit them.
>  Why would she wear revealing clothes if she didn’t want negative attention?
>  Some women know how to push our buttons, and so we “just snap.”
Source: WomensNet
Mauritius: Finance and accounting course for small scale women entrepreneurs

Launched on the eve of International  Women’s Day a course a course on   finance and accounting was   set to change the way  several small scale women entreprenuers do business.  The objective  is to tackle the problem of feminisation of poverty which is directly related to the absence of economic opportunities and autonomy, lack of access to economic resources, including credit, land ownership and inheritance, lack of access to education and support services and their minimal participation in the decision-making process.
The idea  took root  in 2007 when MWO-GEMSA organised a half day session on accounting and budget. This training was delivered to women councilors from both rural and urban areas. They were so excited by this course that they wanted MWO-GEMSA to deliver  the same  course to women in their localities. This project is being financed by the European Union under the Decentralised Cooperation Programme.
The project is composed of two main activities:

> A manual entitled “Kontabilite an KreolÀ written in Creole by Saskia Virahsawmy-Naidoo and edited by Dev Virahsawmy. The manual consists of  nine sections that deal with basic accountancy, budgeting and costing.
>  Delivery of training by Saskia Virahsawmy-Naidoo in Flacq and Beau Bassin Rose-Hill.
It was a real success and the ladies really enjoyed the course.  The course had targeted 15 women for the region of Flacq but the response was so big that  27 participants attended. It will be a  four weeks course and at the end of the training a certificate of attendance will be given.
The women who attended are from different backgrounds; two of them cannot read, write and count. But despite this they are able to follow the course with ease in Creole.  Among them is a participant who  is a  great grand mother of 70 years old and has decided to follow the course because she is now looking after the business of her belated husband.
Namibia:     National budget under scrutiny with a gender lens

Civic groups in Namibia led by NANGOF (NGO coalition) between 10 – 11  February 2009, interrogated the National Budget which  will be tabled in parliament by the Minister of Finance in April 2009.

To  date the Appropriation Bill (National Budget) in Namibia has been general and has not  been specific about the votes for each ministry. Over the years the national budget has not been seen debated and discussed on how the country should  mainstream gender into various ministries budgetary requests to the Ministry of Finance. In all societies, access to resources, rights and power are still unequally distributed between men and women and girls and boys.
In almost all areas if life, this unequal distribution of wealth, power and quality of life has mainly disadvantaged women.  We need to join hands to reduce and eventually eliminate this inequality. A gender sensitive national budget would go a long way in achieving this.
Global: Form of new U.N. women’s entity still nebulous
When a high-level panel of former political leaders and senior government officials released a study in late 2006 on ways to eliminate duplication and strengthen coordination among the U.N.’s myriad bodies, it also recommended the creation of a specialised agency for women aimed at consolidating gender-related activities under a single umbrella.

But more than two years later – and following the conclusion of a two-week session of the U.N. Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) last week – the original proposal seems likely to be abandoned or diluted.

The most viable option, as currently contemplated, is the creation of a separate department for gender affairs in the U.N. Secretariat – much like the existing Department of Economic and Social Affairs (DESA) – than a separate U.N. agency. Or perhaps a mix of both.
Unlike a department, a U.N. agency would not only have remained autonomous but also sought a massive budget, possibly over a billion dollars, as demanded by women’s groups and non-governmental organisations. Read full article
Source: WomensNet

In the next few editions we will feature  a series  of  best practices  of the prevention of  gender based  violence.    These case studies were gathered during a mapping  exercise  of promising  violence prevention models in South  Africa. Gender Links was commissioned by the Inter Departmental Management Team of the South Africa Government  under the leadership of the National Prosecuting Authority-Sexual Offences and Community Affairs Unit and UNICEF.
You are invited to submit case studies of ‘What is working in addressing gender based violence.” Contributions should be sent to Loveness Jambaya
This month we feature Soul City.
Soul City Institute for Health and Development Communication (SC IHDC) is a social change project seeking to make an impact at the individual, community and sociopolitical level. It is an NGO established in 1992 with a view to promoting health from a holistic standpoint, based on advocacy through ‘edutainment’40, which is a mixture of education and entertainment. The success in this approach lies in the fact that the mixed media used by SC IHDC is accessible at different levels, and powerfully persuasive as it is rooted in community experiences, as well as successfully responding to complex social and health issues. The information provided impacts on social norms, attitudes and practices, aimed at the individual, community and socio political environment. Violence prevention and children’s life skills development are some of the key areas of focus.  Click here to read more

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