Roadmap to Equality, Issue 11, July-August 2010

Date: October 1, 2010
  • SHARE:

Issue 11: July – August 2010
Table of contents

Editor’s note


The SADC Protocol @ Work


Gender-based Violence

Constitutional and Legal Rights

Zambia: Women welcome equality commission

Governance and Peace Building

Economic Justice, Education and Training

Health, HIV and AIDS

Media, Information and Communications


Integrated Approaches/ Monitoring and Evaluation

Regional: Roll out of pilot study to develop indicators to measure GBV set to begin in earnest

Gender Resources
Gender Evangelist

L’Express interviewed Mauritian Medgee Vitilinga in context of the World cup soccer 2010 who talks about her passion for soccer.

She reads about everything concerning soccer and does not miss a single match on television.

For the past ten years, Medgee has been the president   of Angel Club, a women’s football team in Grand Baie, a coastal   village in the north of island.

“Youngsters, especially girls, do not have enough leisure activities; football is an excellent physical exercise; it’s normal to give the youth of the region opportunity to have fun safely and at the same time to experience team spiritÀ she says.

Every Saturday morning Medgee attends the training sessions where 17 young girls and women aged from 18 to 32 years old are trained by a specialised coach. Medgee contends that “as president, I see to it that everything goes on smoothly.À

Medgee lamented that there are obstacles. For example, the club does not get any assistance from the Ministry of Sports in order to buy sports equipment.

Officials are seen only at tournaments. “It’s a pity, ” she says, “the girls enjoy playing soccer and need encouragement.À

Source: L’Express Newspaper

Photographer: Nancy Day

Country Highlights
South Africa


Editor’s note
Dear colleagues,

Welcome to the 11th  edition of Roadmap to Equality! We apologise that this issue comes to you late.

The memories of the World Cup 2010 tournament that South Africa, the home base of the Southern Africa Gender Protocol Alliance, proudly and successfully hosted are fading into the distance but SADC women and men’s lived realities remain. This was the essence of the 6th Civil Society Forum held parallel to the SADC Heads of State Summit in August 2010 at which the Southern Africa Gender Protocol Alliance launched the SADC Gender Protocol 2010 Barometer that lamented lack of delivery on commitments made by SADC leaders through a communique.

The World Cup tournament, however, was not rosy for all women. For example, the women who wore orange gear and were taken for questioning for ambush marketing on behalf of Bavaria, a Dutch beer brand. Doreen Gaura, who worked as an intern with Gender Links, also noted that sex workers were among the biggest losers during the world cup. Read more

Nonetheless, looking forward there is more reason to celebrate the year 2010 as the year for gender equality. Adding to its significance is the launch of the new UN Gender Entity “UN WomenÀ that was gazetted on 30 June 2010. The UN Secretary General has called for Member States to nominate candidates for the the position of Under Secretary General (USG) to head the entity.

Uganda became the 28th member of the African Union to ratify the AU Protocol on the Rights of Women while Zambia is set to establish a Gender Commission following a constitutional review. All this points to commitment to by States to promote gender equality.

However, as the recent UN Millennium Development Goals 2010 review and the SADC Gender Protocol 2010 Barometer point out, more work needs to be done if the MDGs and SADC targets are to be achieved by 2015. Many states still lag behind. For example while Malawi has been hailed as showing progress in terms of promoting representation and participation of women in political decision-making, the postponement of elections initially set for end of 2010 and the persecution of Vice President Joyce Banda by fellow party members, dampen hopes of achieving gender parity by 2015. Read more about the UN MDG 2010 report and SADC Gender Protocol 2010 Barometer.

In order to remain fresh and relevant to the issues in your country and our region WE NEED YOUR INPUT! To make contributions and comments  or get information please write to and All contributions must be in latest by the 1st of each month in order for us to get it out on time. Do note that the e-newsletter will go out on the 1st of every month.

Back to top

Regional: Activists call on governments and NGOs to speed up march to equality

SADC Gender Protocol 2010 BarometerThe Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Gender and Development, activists have given a 54% progress rating, down one percent from a baseline study last year. Country scores ranged from 79% in Namibia to 38% in Zimbabwe.

In a letter to the SADC Council of NGOs, gender activists also bemoaned the lack of gender representation and sensitivity in the civil society forum that preceded the Heads of State Summit in Windhoek, Namibia. They called on SADC-CNGO “to look closely at how it caters for representation of women, and their participation, and urgently act to bridge these gaps.”

Speaking at the launch of the 2010 SADC Gender Protocol Barometer during the Sixth Civil Society Forum parallel to the SADC Summit that celebrated the organisation’s thirtieth anniversary on 17 August, Gender Links Executive Director Colleen Lowe Morna said that “while there are a few bright signs on the horizon, every indicator tells us that it is still a long walk to equality for women.”

The tracking tool is the annual flagship of the Southern African Gender Protocol Alliance, the grouping of more than 40 NGOs that campaigned for the adoption of the Protocol in 2008. Click here to read more

Click here to view the SADC Heads of State Summit Supplement: Lentsoe la Basali – Women’s Voices produced by media students attending a business unusual training by Gender Links ahead of the Southern Africa Gender Protocol Alliance meeting

Regional: Sixth Civil Society Forum calls on SADC Member States to accelerate gender equality

On congratulating SADC on the occasion of the sub-region’s 30th Anniversary, civil society organisations attending the Sixth Civil Society Forum ahead of the August SADC Heads of State Summit issued a communiqué to the leaders citing concerns over the slow rate of delivery on a number of issues affecting the sub-region’s citizens.

Achieving gender equality emerged as one of the issues. The statement acknowledged the signing of the SADC Gender and Development Protocol by the majority of Member States, but expressed concern that Botswana and Mauritius have not signed the Protocol and that only three countries: Lesotho, Namibia and Zimbabwe have ratified the Gender Protocol.

“Mindful of our watchdog role as civil society, we will keep track of Member States’ implementation of the 28 targets set for 2015, especially the following:- reducing by 50% current levels of gender-based violence and halving 50% women representation and participation in key areas of decision-making across all sectors,”

Recalling the African Union resolution to scale up efforts towards reducing maternal mortality, the statement called upon Member States:

–      To ensure that those that have not signed the Protocol on Gender and Development do so as matter of urgency and that all member states ratify the Protocol and ensure its implementation through the requisite policy, budgetary and strategy reforms.
–      To ensure an end to all forms of violence against women and the girl children.
–      To put in place comprehensive policies and programmes to improve maternal health as well as increased access to reproductive health information and facil ities.
–      To demand 50% gender parity in decision making by 2015.

Click here to view full statement
Source: SADC Council of NGOs

UN secures $40 billion for women’s and children’s health

At the UN Summit on the Millennium Development Goals, Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon kicked off a major concerted worldwide effort to accelerate progress on women’s and children’s health.

With pledges of more than $40 billion over the next five years, the Global Strategy for Women’s and Children’s Health has the potential of saving the lives of more than 16 million women and children. “We know what works to save women’s and children’s lives, and we know that women and children are critical to all of the MDGs,” Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said. “The 21st century must and will be different for every woman and every child.” Click here to read more

Click here to read the full United Nations Millennium Development Goals Report 2010.


Source: UN News Service


Regional: Southern Africa Gender Protocol Alliance holds strategy meeting

The Southern Africa Gender Protocol Alliance held a strategy meeting from 15 – 16 August 2010 parallel to the SADC Heads of State Summit. The meeting was attended by the steering committee and development partners and resulted in at least 16 Memoranda of Understanding being signed between new and existing organisations  committing to be Thematic Cluster Leaders and National Focal Points between organisations and  the coordinator of the Alliance, Gender Links. This is aimed at strengthening the institutional base of the loose network of like-minded organisations working to promote gender equality in the region. Click here for list of thematic cluster lead organisations

The  Network  used the time to review its annual action  plan and carry out a SWOT analysis.  While the Network continues to work well at regional level it was agreed that there is need to strengthen the national structures for more effective collaboration across themes and across countries. National organisations will now join the alliance at national level through the local focal points while regional organisations have the option to join at regional level to enable streamlining of functions. Click here for list of National Focal Points

Apart from lobbying for Botswana and Mauritius to sign the Gender Protocol, the meeting identified the campaign for all SADC countries to ratify the instrument as well as the 50-50 women in decision making campaign as cross-cutting issues that the Alliance needed to focus on in the coming year.

For more information on the outcomes of the meeting contact:

Lesotho: 50/50 campaign on women’s agendas,   SADC Gender Protocol 2010 Barometer launched


The Women in Law Southern Africa (WLSA) À“ Lesotho office will convene a round table discussion with local NGOs to discuss, among other issues, the 50/50 women in decision-making campaign as the 30% quota system for women in local government comes under threat.   The 50/50 regional campaign is in line with the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development target which calls on all SADC Member States to ensure that women occupy 50% of all key decision-making positions across sectors by 2015.

According to Gender Links Lesotho Local Government and Gender Justice Facilitator, Mpho Mankimane, “Political parties in Lesotho proposed for review of the 30% quota system for women in local government earlier this year. This surfaced as a result of a longstanding contest by the political leadership and men in generalÀ.

The parties suggested that amendments be made to both the Local Government Act 1997 and the Local Government Election Act 1998 accordingly. Upon announcement, gender activists were worried that alternative measures to this legislated quota might jeopardise the great strides made in bringing women into decision-making, particularly in local government.

Lesotho, with 58% women in local government, is the only country that has surpassed the 50% target in Southern Africa. With 31% women in cabinet Lesotho has also surpassed the initial SADC 30% women in decision-making target. With 22.9% women in parliament (both upper and lower house), it is ranked number 40 globally.

A round table discussion helped local gender NGOs and other partners to sharpen their advocacy strategies to defend the quota system . WLSA-Lesotho, which serves as the Southern Africa Gender Protocol Alliance national focal point, convened the round table meeting on 6 September 2010 at Lancer’s Inn Hotel in Maseru.

Gender activists held a meeting on 7 September with the Independent Electoral Commission (IEC) to explore the Tanzania quota model as an alternative. They also engaged with the Bill addressing the issue, that is soon to come before parliament.

The SADC Gender Protocol 2010 Barometer was launched at a colourful event, also in Maseru, which was attended by more that 100 people.

Zambia: Constitutional review opens new possibilities

Zambia has been going through a Constitutional review process in the last few years. The National Constitution Conference (NCC) produced a draft Constitution and opened for comments from 2 July À“ 12 August 2010.  This presented an opportunity to members of the Southern Africa Gender Proto col Alliance in Zambia led by Women in Law Southern Africa (WLSA) to lobby for provisions or articles of the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development to be incorporated in the draft Constitution.


The new Zambia draft constitution promises that the Government shall ensure full participation, gender balance and equitable representation of disadvantaged groups including the youth and persons with disabilities in elective and appointive bodies and in political, social, cultural and economic development of the country. It also proposes that the representation of women and men not be less than 30% of the total number of seats in the national assembly, district council or any other public elective body.


However this falls short of the 50% target of women’s representation at all levels of decision making. Article 64 (1) calls for parliament to design affirmative action to benefit the disadvantaged groups. Clause (2) of the same article calls on political parties to ensure full participation, gender balance and equitable representation of disadvantaged groups including youth and people with disabilities in their organisations and practices. Click here to read the Constitutional and Legal Rights chapter of the SADC Gender Protocol 2010 Barometer.


Source: SADC Gender Protocol 2010 Barometer, Lowe Morna C. and Jambaya Nyakujarah L

Back to top
Gender-based violence
Global: General Assembly launches Global Plan of Action Against Trafficking in Persons – only way to end ‘Slavery in the modern age’
With thousands of people forced into labour, servitude or the sex trade each year, the General Assembly formally launched the Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons today, one month after its adoption as a consensus resolution outlining the terms of the Plan.  

“With this Global Action Plan, we have announced our steadfast commitment to stop human trafficking,À said United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon in opening remarks to the one-day high-level meeting.   Indeed, the Plan was a clarion call.   Human trafficking was among the worst human rights violations and constituted “slavery in the modern ageÀ.   No country was immune – almost all played a part, either as a source of trafficked people, transit point or destination.

Since the Assembly’s adoption ten years ago of the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, Governments, international organisations and civil society had taken steps to stop the crime, he said.   But to end human trafficking in all its forms, a common approach was needed – coordinated and consistent across the globe.   “The Global Plan of Action will help us to achieve exactly that,À he said.

The Plan also stressed the paramount importance of increased research, data collection and analysis of trafficking.   “We must improve our knowledge and understanding of this crime if we are to make good policy decisions and targeted interventions,À he added. Click here to read more
Source: UN News Service

DRC: UN Confirms Reported Gang Rape of Women by Rebels

A United Nations human rights team has confirmed that members of two armed groups in the volatile east of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) raped more than 150 women during an attack on a village in North Kivu province last month, a UN spokesperson said recently.

Victims of the attack, which occurred on 30 July in the village of Bunangiri, situated in the Banamukira area of North Kivu, are receiving medical treatment and have also been provided psycho-social care, the spokesperson of the Secretary-General told reporters in New York.

Perpetrators of the attack are said to be insurgents loyal to the Democratic Forces for the Liberation of Rwanda (FDLR), a group of ethnic Hutu fighters linked to the 1994 genocide in Rwanda, and their accomplices believed to be members of a local militia known as the Mai-Mai Cheka. Click here to read more.


Back to top
Constitutional and legal rights


Zambia: Women welcome Equality Commission
Ruth Langa

The Zambian National Constitution Conference (NCC) concluded recently with the adoption of a clause for the creation of a Gender Equality Commission.

This is exciting news for gender activists who did not think the NCC would accept the clause. The women’s movement, alongside other civil society groups, had refused to participate in the NCC fearing civil society’s voice would not be heard.

Pixie Yangailo, a lawyer who sat on the NCC commission for gender, told Inter Press Service (IPS) that given entrenched cultural beliefs about women’s subservient role in society, it was better to have a commission that will deal exclusively with gender equality and the promotion and protection of women’s rights. Click here to read more

Source: IPS

Uganda: Ratifies the AU Protocol on the Rights of Women

Solidarity for African Women’s Rights (SOAWR) coalition joins Women First (the Ugandan Women’s Rights Coalition to welcome and congratulate the Republic of Uganda for depositing its instrument of ratification of the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa at the opening of the 17th Ordinary Session of the Executive Council of the African Union, at Munyonyo, Uganda, 22 July 2010.   Uganda becomes the 28th member state of the African Union and the third East African Community Member to ratify the Protocol on the Rights of Women after Rwanda and Tanzania.

This would not have been possible without the close partnership between the government of Uganda, Ugandan Women’s Civil Socie ty Organisations and the Uganda APRM National Governing Council. We commend all their efforts to ensure ratification of this Protocol and applaud the collaboration between the three line ministries in charge of the ratification: Gender, Justice and Constitutional Affairs and Foreign Affairs. Click here to read more
Source: Pambazuka News

Back to top
Governance and peace building

Malawi: Women’s political leadership under threat

The African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET) would like to express solidarity with women politicians in Malawi where the future of women’s political representation is under serious threat following the country’s ruling Democratic People’s Party (DPP) campaigns launched against its own member, the Honorable Vice President Joyce Banda. As a Pan African organization that works for the empowerment of women, we consider these developments a threat to democracy in Africa.  

Malawi is holding the Chair of the African Union which has clearly indicated its support for equal participation of men and women in the democratic processes of the member states as candidates for all the elective posts, as voters and electoral officials. Malawi is party to the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and the African Union (AU) Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa which together with the Southern African (SADC) Gender Protocol (Article 5) make it an obligation for leaders in Malawi to eliminate discrimination against women in leadership and decision-making.

Malawi: Women candidates hard hit by election postponement

News that Malawi’s November local government elections are to be postponed yet again has hit female candidates hard À“ and mostly in their pockets. And it could mean that the country will have less female candidates to vote for when they finally go to the polls.

Many women candidates feel short-changed with the decision by the Malawi Election Commission (MEC) to postpone the 23 November elections. On 13 August the MEC announced the elections will now be held on 20 April 2011.  

But women candidates, just like their male contenders, have already started campaigning and spent money buying handouts for voters. In Malawi, election campaigns are expensive; most potential voters expect candidates to give them handouts, such as t-Shirts, cloth, food items and even money during campaign rallies and door-to-door campaigning. Click here to read more
Source: IPS

Tanzania: Female candidates in upcoming polls to receive UN election training

The United Nations is seeking to empower women candidates ahead of Tanzania’s general elections in October, including by improving their skills in public speaking, media engagement, campaign planning, presentations, community mobilisation, advocacy and lobbying.

During workshops to be conducted   throughout September by the UN Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM), candidates will also learn about women in Tanzanian politics, current political issues surrounding the elections, the roles of Parliament, the House of Representatives and local councils, and relevant election laws, rules and regulations.

Tanzania’s Constitution has allocated 30% of parliamentary seats for women. However, women only accounted for 17 out of 232 contested seats in the last general elections in 2005. Click here to read more
Source: UN News Service

Zambia: Election violence could mean fewer women participants

By Kelvin Kachingwe

There are growing fears that increasing numbers of women candidates and voters may not participate in the 2011 general elections because of an upsurge in election-related violence.

Campaigning in the Chifubu constituency ahead of the 5 August by-election was marred with violence and intimidation by supporters from the participating parties, the ruling Movement for Multi-Party Democracy (MMD) and the opposition Patriotic Front (PF).

A May by-election in Mufumbwe, in the North-Western province, saw two people die at the hands of political hooligans who were hired to cause confusion. Click here to read more
Source: IPS

Global: UN Resolution 1325 petition drive strategy

In October 2010, the UN community will mark the 10th anniversary of Security Council Resolution (SCR) 1325 on Women, Peace and Security. Events commemorating the anniversary at UN headquarters in New York will highlight the importance of 1325, while advocating accelerated progress in implementing the 1325 agenda in the coming 10 years. The anniversary provides a critical opportunity to renew momentum on the 1325 agenda, impacting the Council’s agenda in the coming years.

The vision for 2020 is articulated in the series of SC resolutions on women, peace and security (1325, 1888, 1820), in the upcoming Report of the Secretary General on Women and Peacebuilding, and in the findings and reports from the Global Open Days, which convened women in conflict contexts and high-level UN officials between June-August 2010.

UNIFEM has drafted a petition to gather signatures in support of accelerated progress in implementation of UN SCR 1325, in collaboration with other UN entities involved with this initiative. The petition is available for all civil society organisations to use and adapt. It is made available through UNIFEM’s interactive communications platform, Say NO À“ UNiTE to End Violence against Women, which hosts a live action counter on the page to reflect the number of signatures gathered. Click here to read more.

Back to top
Economic justice, education and training
Regional: Sex workers, the biggest losers at the World Cup
Doreen Gaura

While many are still coming down from the excitement of the World Cup, Zodwa Sangweni* is one South African who was disappointed by how the much-hyped event turned out.

A sex worker in Johannesburg, Sangweni said despite predictions that sex business would be booming, the World Cup season was actually a bust.
“We didn’t work well, there was no money,” she said. “Maybe for those who work in hotels but for us on the streets, we didn’t get any business.”

Ahead of the global sporting spectacle – which has a reputation for off-the-pitch debauchery – many were speculating that the real winners of the event would be sex workers. An influx of as many as 40,000 sex workers was anticipated, mostly from Zimbabwe, but also from as far away as Russia.

However, just as there were fewer spectators than planned, so too for sex workers.
Accor ding to Sangweni, there were no new faces in the streets of Johannesburg on which she works. Click here to read more.
Source: GL Opinion and Commentary Service

South Africa: Traders protest exclusion from World Cup
Facing what they say is economic exclusion from South Africa’s upcoming World Cup, informal traders marched on FIFA’s South African headquarters in hopes of securing their place at the games, and their livelihoods.

Armed with placards bearing slogans like “Will my children eat soccer balls?” and “Is FIFA my new government?” about 100 informal traders descended on the headquarters of FIFA’s local organising committee (LOC) yesterday [12 May] to demand greater access to economic opportunities generated by the World Cup.

Organised by the South African Informal Traders Forum, a consortium of 33 informal trader associations from Gauteng, the march aimed to deliver a list of demands to LOC CEO, Danny Jordaan. The demands include a stop to forced removals of informal traders in the run-up to the World Cup, employment opportunities for traders among FIFA affiliates such as McDonald’s and Coca-Cola, as well as that vending areas be allocated to traders within match venues and fan parks. Read more
Source: GL Opinion and Commentary Service

Back to top
Health, HIV and AIDS
What’s the Budget? Where is the staff? Moving from Policy to Practice

The Women Won’t Wait campaign’s new report calls for substantial, predictable, and sustained funding and staff with the necessary gender expertise to operationalise policies at the country level and guarantee integrated health care to better fulfil the rights of all women and girls.

The Women Won’t Wait: End HIV and violence against women and girls. Now Campaign launches What’s the Budget? Where’s the Staff?: Moving from Policy to Practice, the third in a series of reports calling for increased recognition of the intersection between violence against women and girls and HIV across policies, programmes and funding streams. The three-report series, starting with Show us the Money in 2007 followed by What Gets Measured Matters in 2008, has monitored the work of five major public institutions in the context of HIV:

–      the two largest multilateral donors, the Global Fund for AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (the Global Fund) and the World Bank;
–      two of the largest bilateral donors working to combat the HIV epidemic, the US Government’s President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief (PEPFAR) and UK Government’s Department for International Development (DFID); and
–      the UN’s global agenda-setting agency on HIV&AIDS, the United Nations Joint Programme on AIDS, UNAIDS.

We take note of some of the distinct progress made by several of these institutions, particularly UNAIDS and the Global Fund and the US Office of the Global AIDS Coordinator (OGAC), which is responsible for managing the implementation of PEPFAR. In What’s the budget? Where’s the staff?, we see that these agencies are showing increased attention to this intersection in their policies, funding priorities and guidelines. Indeed, this renewed and more substantial attention paid to violence against women and HIV is evidence of the success of women’s movements and women’s rights advocates to date, including the Women Won’t Wait Campaign. What remains to be seen, however, is how these policies will be transformed into practice.

We are now at a juncture where the institutions lagging behind need to step up and devote the necessary resources (human and financial) to the development of policies that place violence against women and gender inequality at the centre of any HIV response. Moreover, policy-level recognition will be meaningless if it remains only on paper and is not transformed into concrete, measureable and resourced programming that advances women’s human rights through an integrated, multi-sector approach to violence against women and HIV.

Back to top
Media, information and communications

Photo Essay: Women speak out

By Doreen Gaura
As South Africa commemorated National Women’s Day on August 9th, Gender Links spoke to ordinary women about the challenges they face every day.

In an accompanying story, Doreen Gaura writes that the link between many women’s organisations and the realities of women’s every day lived experience has become tenous. She spoke to women from informal settlements about the issues that matter to them. This photo essay documents their conversation.

Every Wednesday more than 20 women from the informal settlements of Fine Town, Grasmere, Lawley Two and Katok in Johannesburg’s Ennerdale neighbourhood gather at the Extension Nine local library to discuss their problems and offer support to each other. Click here to view the photo essay

Source: GL Opinion and Commentary Service

Regional: Media, Diversity and Change: Taking Stock

Gender Links (GL) working with the Gender and Media Southern Africa (GEMSA) have held consultative workshops throughout SADC on the findings of three closely linked research studies: Gender and Media Progress Study (GMPS), Gender in Media Education (GIME) and Glass Ceilings: Women and Men in Southern Africa Media. Countries which have been covered so far include Botswana, DRC, Lesotho, Namibia, Malawi Mozambique, South Africa, Swaziland, Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

The discussions emanating from the national workshops will feed into the regional Gender and Media (GEM) Summit which will run from the 13-15 October in Johannesburg under the banner Media, diversity and change: Taking stock. The workshops presented an opportunity for journalists to enter the regional Gender and Media Awards. Many entries into the media summit were received during the meeting.

It is envisaged that the findings of the GIME; GMPS and Glass Ceilings research will be used to develop a cohesive strategy to mainstream gender in media houses, in media content and at institutions of higher learning offering journalism and media education and training.

Click here for more information about the GMPS and GIME and other gender media research studies

Regional: Fourth Gender and Media Summit and Awards coming up

Gender Links (GL), the Media Institute of Southern Africa (MISA) and the Gender and Media Southern Africa (GEMSA) Network will be hosting the fourth Southern African Gender and Media Summit and Awards. The Summit will bring together media practitioners, trainers, gender activists, media regulators and all those who subscribe to the GEMSA slogan “making every voice count, and counting that it doesÀ to share best practices in creating a media that is more responsive to gender and diversity concerns. With its overarching theme, Media, Diversity and Change: Taking Stock, the summit takes place against the backdrop of the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development th at calls for gender parity within the media, as well as equal voice and fair treatment of women and men in editorial content by 2015.

Awards recognising good journalistic and media institutional practices that promote gender equality in editorial content and at the work place will be presented.

The 2010 summit will be organised around critical thinking papers on gender and media work in the region over the last decade as well as innovative examples of change. Questions to be answered include:    
–      What have been the successes over the last 10 years?
–      What has contributed to achieving the successes?
–      What are the gaps and challenges that have to be addressed?
–      Why did the initiatives that have been in place over the last 10 years not address the gaps and challenges?
–      How do redirect energies and focus to effect sustainable change?
–      What kinds of support and institutional mechanisms need to be put in place to ensure that the gender and media landscape changes significantly in next 10 years?

For more information contact: Kubi Rama

Back to top
Integrated Approaches/Monitoring and Evaluation

Regional: Red Light campaign evaluation meeting set for October

The Red Light Campaign Coalition is planning to hold a regional review meeting in October to evaluate progress made, challenges and map the way forward on the campaign. The Coalition is led by the Women in Law Southern Africa (WLSA) and Southern Africa Network against Trafficking and Abuse of Children (SANTAC) which launched the Red Light Campaign in 2008 to guard against the potential impact of the FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup on vulnerable women and children in Southern Africa.

The campaign connects organisations already working on human, women and children’s rights, human trafficking, gender based violence, HIV and AIDS to realise a common purpose. While initially focusing on the World Cup as an opportunity to highlight issues relating to trafficking and sexual exploitation of women and children, the campaign will continue to keep this important issue on the regional agenda for an initial period of up to 2011.

Member organisations activities arranged a diverse range of activities in the run up to and during the Soccer World Cup. For example Gender Links, a member of the Red Light 2010 Campaign fore-grounded the Gender Protocol provisions on gender based violence particularly around human trafficking and the overall target of halving current levels of gender violence by 2015 and worked with WLSA, SANTAC and other partners to launch the Radio Spots. An initial launch took place at Orange Farm while other launches are set to take place in locations such as Musina and Limpopo.

The date of the meeting which will bring various regional partners together is yet to be set. Click here to listen radio spots

Africa: Beyond Beijing +15 for the African Women’s Decade

The year 2010 marks the onset of the African Women’s Decade (2010-2020) as declared by African Heads of States and Governments at the 12th Ordinary Assembly of the African Union held in February 2009. The African Women’s Development and Communication Network (FEMNET) believes that the Beijing +15 Review, due to its consultative and participatory processes by state and non-state actors, will serve as an apt baseline for the African Women’s Decade and will be a critical launchi ng pad for the Decade.

FEMNET aims to convene several sub-regional workshops to disseminate and discuss the findings of the official and NGO Beijing +15 reports, and develop strategies and action-plans on the African Women’s Decade at national and sub-regional levels to ensure that both state and non-state actors act together to make the Decade make a difference in women’s lives. Click here to read more

International: The United States and CEDAW

The Obama administration strongly supports ratification and has included CEDAW as one of five multilateral treaties it has identified as a priority. The U.S. played an important role in drafting CEDAW, which the United Nations adopted in 1979. The Carter administration signed the treaty on July 17, 1980, and submitted it to the Senate in November 1980.

The CEDAW Treaty has been voted favorably out of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee twice, with certain conditions to ratification known as reservations, understanding and declarations (RUDs), in 1994, with a bi-partisan vote of 13-5; and in 2002, with a bi-partisan vote of 12-7. It has never been brought to the Senate floor for a vote. Ratification of CEDAW has no financial cost. Ratification of CEDAW requires 67 Senators to stand together for women and girls. Ratifying the CEDAW treaty would continue America’s proud bipartisan tradition of promoting and protecting human rights, including women’s human rights. Click here to read more


Back to top
Explanation of the Barometer
The Roadmap to Equality:
Southern Africa Gender and Development Protocol Barometer is a regional e-news- letter that tracks the ratification and implementation of the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development. It is produced by Gender Links in partnership with the Southern Africa Gender Protocol Alliance and the Gender and Media Southern Africa (GEMSA) Network with support from DFID and UNIFEM.

The Barometer will enable both state and non-state actors to track progress whether governments are on the way to meeting set targets in the Gen- der Protocol which provides a road map for achieving gender equality in the region.

The new and updated Baro- meter will focus on the articles of the Protocol namely Consti- tutional and Legal Rights; Gender and Governance; Edu- cation and Training; Economic Justice; Gender Based Violence; Health; HIV and AIDS; Peace Building and Conflict Reso- lution; and Media, Infor- mation and Communication.

It is essential that gender and women’s rights activists and governments track the impact of their work in order to measure whether or not they are making a difference. The Barometer is a tool that can be used firstly, to track progress in advancing gender equality in the region and also to hold governments in Southern Africa accountable to the commitments they have made to address inequality through their obligations to international and regional in- struments and in particular the SADC Gender Protocol.

Fact Box

Violence against women and girls is a problem of pandemic proportions. Based on country data available, up to 70% of women experience physical or sexual violence from men in their lifetime, the majority by husbands, intimate partners or someone they know.

Among women aged between 15 and 44, acts of violence cause more death and disability than cancer, malaria, traffic accidents and war combined.   Perhaps the most pervasive human rights violation that we know today, violence against women devastates lives, fractures communities, and stalls development. It takes many forms and occurs in many places — domestic violence in the home, sexual abuse of girls in schools, sexual harassment at work, rape by husbands or strangers, in refugee camps or as a tactic of war.

Source: WUNRN

  • Millennium Development Goals Ten Year Review Summit, New York, United Nations HQ, 20 – 22 September 2010
  • SVRI Forum 2011: Cape Town, South Africa, 10-13 October 2011
  • Launch of the African Women Decade, 10 – 15 October 2010
  • Gender and Media Summit and Awards, 13 -15 October, Johannesburg, Contact:
    Gender and Media Summit and Awards
  • Launch of the African Women’s Decade
    10th -15th October 2010
    Location: Nairobi-Kenya
    Contact: FEMNET
  • SAWID 2010 Annual Dialogue Forum, November 28th À“ December 3rd, 2010 African Decade of Women: Women Unite d as Agents of Africa’s Development.   Contact:   Ms. Ntombi Shangase


List of countries that have signed

South Africa          

Comment on Roadmap to Equality, Issue 11, July-August 2010

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