Roadmap to Equality, Issue 7, January 2010

Date: September 17, 2010
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Issue 7 | 15 January 2010

Table of contents

Editor’s note


Global: 2010 CSW to focus on Beijing Plus Fifteen Review

Regional: Southern Africa preBeijing caucus meeting 4-5 February 2010

Gender-based Violence

Mozambique: Domestic Violence Act to become operational in March 2010

DRC: War on women in Congo

DRC: City of Joy in Bukavu – a facility for women survivors

Constitutional and Legal Rights
South Africa: Is polygamy unconstitutional?

Kenya: Polygamy, Kenyans speak out

South Africa: Morality lessons from Zuma

Malawi: Amnesty urges country to free jailed gay couple

Uganda: Gay death penalty proviso likely to be pulled from bill

South Africa: Teen pays lobola for girl,14

Governance and Peace Building

Mozambique: First woman speaker elected

10th Anniversary of UN Security Council 1325

Economic Justice, Education and Training

Regional: UNIFEM holding workshop for women in informal cross boarder trade

Zimbabwe: Women and music education

Health, HIV and AIDS

Africa: Disappointing results for microbicide research

Media, Information and Communications

Women and media section of Beijing Platform for Action neglected

Integrated Approaches/ Monitoring and Eval- uation

Regional: Gender Justice and Local Government Summit, 8-10 March

Regional: 2010 – A significant year for African Women’s Rights

Gender Resources

Gender Evangelist

“I want my daughters to be able to grow up in a safe South Africa À“ we need to create a violence free society for women.À Mbuyiselo Botha –

This edition of the Roadmap to Equality features Mbuyiselo Botha as the gender evangelist of the month because of the tireless work he has done in promoting gender equality. Among his recent display of fearless gender activism he took the ANC Youth League President Julious Malema to the Equality Court asking him to withdraw comments that the woman who accused President Jacob Zuma of rape had a “nice timeÀ with him. Read more about this case.

Mbuyiselo Botha has been called “a lone voice in the wildernessÀ for tirelessly campaigning for gender equality. He feels passionately that men should shoulder the responsibility of creating a safe and equal society for women and travels the length and breadth of South Africa holding workshops challenging cultural notions about what it means to be a man.

His own upbringing was distressingly dysfunctional in many ways – he grew up under severely impoverished conditions and did not know the paternity of his own father. Today he has found some measure of healing by striving to be a fully attentive and loving dad to his own children. He says that children have an innate wisdom, and often teach us how to “walk our talkÀ. Read more

Country Highlights











South Africa





Editor’s note

Dear colleagues,

Welcome to the 7th issue of the Roadmap to Equality! The much awaited year 2010 is finally here! New Year, new decade, new beginnings.

For those who know me I am back from maternity leave as Editor of this e-newsletter. For those who do not, my name is Loveness Jambaya Nyakujarah Gender Links’ Assistant Director À“ Southern Africa Gender Protocol Alliance portfolio. I look forward to interacting with you in the year as we strive to deiver fresh news, analyses and stimulate debate around whether Southern Africa will achieve the 28 targets set out in the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development by 2015.

2010 is an important landmark for gender equality for several reasons. First there is the World Cup 2010 tournament being hosted in the region. Soccer 2010 presents many economic opportunities. We need to tap in and ensure that women reap benefits from having the tournament hosted in our region. On the flip side Soccer 2010 brings with it potential threats to women, girls and even young boys. In future editions we will continue to grapple with both opportunities and threats that Soccer 2010 presents for women.

It has been fifteen years since the first Beijing conference held in 1995. Beijing Plus Fifteen will the focus at this year’s Commission on Status of Women (CSW) meeting held in New York every year. This edition talks about a Southern Africa pre-Beijing Plus Fifteen caucus meeting that is being hosted by Gender Links working with the Gender and Media Southern Africa Network (GEMSA) and other Alliance partners in early February. The aim is to discuss milestones that have been achieved and whether the region is on the way to meeting targets set out in the Beijing Declaration.

Africa Union has declared 2010 as the beginning of the African Women’s Decade (2010 À“ 2020) to give them platform to further raise awareness on gender based issues. Click here for the AU concept paper and information.

2010 is also significant in that it is the 10th anniversary of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325 that specifically addresses the impact of war on women, and women’s contributions to conflict resolution and sustainable peace.

As we begin this year with so much hope, this edition does take time to reflect on the 2009 Sixteen Days Campaign and see whether it was effective or not.

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 15th of every month.

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Global: 2010 CSW to focus on Beijing Plus Fifteen Review

In March 2010, the Commission on the Status of Women(CSW) will focus on Beijing Plus Fifteen. The General Assembly is expected to mark the 15th anniversary of the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action in a commemorative meeting during CSW. Member States, representatives of non-governmental organizations and of UN entitie will participate in the session. A series of parallel events will provide additional opportunities for information exchange and networking. Ongoing national and regional review processes are feeding into the global review process. .
The CSW will focus on two thematic issues:
– Review of the implementation of the Platform for Action and the outcomes of the 23rd special session of the General Assembly, with an emphasis on the sharing of experiences and good practices with a view to overcoming remaining obstacles and new challenges; and
– Review of its contribution to shaping a gender perspective towards the full realization of the Millennium Development Goals.
Read more at:

Regional: Southern Africa pre-Beijing caucus meeting, 4-5 February 2010

Gender Links working with Gender and Media Southern Africa Network (GEMSA) will be convening a preBeijing Southern Africa caucus meeting from 4-5 February.

The aim of the meeting is:
– To establish a Southern Africa position on progress made by regional States in meeting targets contained in the Beijing Declaration ahead of this year’s Beijing Plus Fifteen review to be held at the upcoming CSW meeting that will take place in New York
– To develop a plan and budget for cyber dialogues that will take place parallel to the CSW meeting
– To devise a strategy and action plan to leverage regional key campaigns and strengthen institutional mechanisms to take these campaigns forward. The campaigns include:
– Campaign for human trafficking legislation
– Soccer 2010. Score a goal for gender equality
– Soccer Red Light 2010
– 50/50 women in decision making
– Care work campaign
– To agree on in-country processes for validating the SADC Gender Protocol Baseline Barometer produced by the Southern Africa Protocol Alliance
– The Alliance will use the opportunity to report on progress made thus far in implementing the three year Alliance strategy and operational plan
– Alliance members will develop strategies for strengthening thematic clusters and incountry Alliance structures.

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Gender-based violence

Mozambique: Domestic Violence Act to become operational in March 2010

The Mozambican Act 29/09 or Act on Domestic Violence Perpetrated against Women will become operational on 29th March 2010. The Act was passed in July 2009. The law seeks to address domestic violence against women in the ambit of family relations. In this scenario, the perpetrator can be a partner or former partner À“ from legal and de facto unions À“ as well as other relatives of the woman.

The Act states that domestic violence includes: physical abuse; sexual abuse; emotional and psychological abuse; intimidation; harassment; stalking; damage to property; any other controlling or abusive behaviour that harms or may cause harm to a person. The penalties in the act include: fines, community work, and imprisonment between 3 days to 8 years. The ‘gendered’ nature of the law was lost in the process, as men can also be protected by the Act.

The passing of the Act is a testimony to the unwavering work of Mozambican civil society. Firstly, women’s organisations submitted a draft bill to the Parliament, and later on they launched a National Campaign for the Approval of the Domestic Violence Bill. Members of the Campaign included NGOs with a long-standing tradition in the field of gender equality, such as Forum Mulher, MULEIDE, Rede Came, and Women and Law (WLSA) in Southern Africa Mozambique.

Terezinha da Silva, director of Women and Law in Southern Africa Mozambique commented to Gender Links that:
“The law was passed due to the lobby and pressure of civil society. There are still issues to be addressed, and there is a draft bill under way, aimed at protecting those who denounce any violence situation. The law was not approved according to our proposal, as there are two very controversial articles. One article states that the law also applies and protects men, and other article states that the law should be implemented to protect the family. This could be mean À“ – according to our reading that culture should be taken into account…So far, nothing is planned in terms of a budget for the implementation of the ActÀ.

Read full text of the Act in Portuguese:

DRC: War on Women in Congo by Eve Ensler

My play, The Vagina Monologues, opened my eyes to the world inside this world. Everywhere I traveled with it scores of women lined up to tell me of their rapes, incest, beatings, and mutilations. It was because of this that over 11 years ago we launched V-Day, a worldwide movement to end violence against women and girls. Nothing I have heard or seen compares with what is going on in the Democratic Republic of Congo, where corporate greed, fueled by capitalist consumption, and the rape of women have merged into a single nightmare. Femicide, the systematic and planned destruction of the female population, is being used as a tactic of war to clear villages, pillage mines and destroy the fabric of Congolese society.

Read the full article:

DRC: City of Joy in Bukavu – A facility for women survivors of sexual violence

Stop Raping Our Greatest Resource - Power to Women and Girls of Democratic Republic of CongoIn the long years of civil war in the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), rape was used as a weapon of war targeting specifically the civilian population. Women bore the brunt of sexual violence and are still experiencing the impact of the violations. Although the formal war is over, sexual violence continues unabated. In 2010, the construction of City of Joy, a refugee for women and girls survivors of rape will be finalised. The facility will offer a shelter as well as health, educational, and income À“generation opportunities for the residents. City of Joy is supported by the Panzi Hospital of Bukavu in the DRC, UNICEF and V-Day (Global Movement to End Violence Against Women a nd Girls).
Help Create the City of Joy:
Read about the City of Joy by UNICEF Director Anne M. Veneman:

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Consitutional and legal rights

South Africa: Is polygamy unconstitutional?

By Pierre De Vos
The media reports that President Jacob Zuma will tie the knot for the fifth time today. Although his first wife died and he was divorced from his second wife, he is still married to two other wives and the new wedding will confirm President’ Zuma’s polygamous status.
It is often said that polygamous marriages are unconstitutional. The equality clause trumps the right to culture in the South African Bill of Rights and polygamy discriminates against women À“ so the argument goes À“ because it allows a man to marry many wives but not a woman to marry many husbands and because the emotional and financial position of the existing wives is said to be weakened when their husband takes another wife. Read more
Source: Constititionally speaking blog:

Kenya: Polygamy, Kenyans speak out

South African President Jacob Zuma, 68, recently attracted the ire of human rights activists and religious leaders with his decision to marry his fifth wife. Mr Zuma’s critics see the president as promoting polygamy, a practice they consider abusive to women, unChristian and culturally outdated.

“His marriage to a woman he is reported to have already fathered three children with is a giant step back into the dark ages,” said the Reverend Theunis Botha, leader of South Africa’s Christian Democratic Party. Mr Zuma’s one-line defence, couched in tradition, bears a striking resemblance to those of other polygamists.

In Kenya, where a proposed marriage law has recently ignited debate around polygamy, the South African president would find himself in good company among political leaders and other influential people in society. Read more

South Africa: Morality lessons from Jacob Zuma

Jacob Zuma has recently wed a third wife in the fifth wedding ceremony of his lifetime. (He and current Home Affairs Minister Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma divorced in 1998 and Kate Mantsho Zuma committed suicide in 2000.) A fourth woman to join the presidential union is reportedly already waiting in line for upcoming nuptials.

Meanwhile, some contend he is the father of babies aged under a year with both his last and most recent wife. Some people argue a leader’s personal life is not a matter for public opinion. Yet, as the president of the country, his lifestyle is certainly on the nation’s agenda, just as Bill Clinton’s was to the Americans. Like it or not, the head of a nation serves as a moral compass for its citizens. Here are some of the morals our president is steering the country towards. Read full article.
Source: GL Opinion and Commentary Service

Read related first hand accounts (‘I’ Stories) on polygamy launched by Gender Links as part of the Sixteen Days Campaign

Amnesty urges Malawi to free jailed gay couple source:GALA photo archives
Human rights watchdog Amnesty International Wednesday called for the release of a Malawian gay couple jailed last week after holding a traditional wedding ceremony. “The arrest of the two men solely for their real or perceived sexual orientation amounts to discrimination and it is in violation of their rights to freedom of conscience, expression and privacy,” the group said in a statement.”Amnesty International considers individuals imprisoned solely for their consensual sexual relationship in private as prisoners of conscience and calls for their immediate and unconditional release,” it added. Steven Monjeza, 26, and Tiwonge Chimbalanga, 20, were arrested on December 28 in Malawi’s commercial capital Blantyre for holding the country’s first public same-sex wedding – an act that landed them with three charges of “indecent practices”. The couple has pleaded not guilty, and has been denied bail. I f convicted, they face up to 14 years in prison.
Read the full story :

Uganda’s gay death penalty provisio likely to be pulled from bill

A provision that would impose the death penalty for some gays is likely to be removed from the proposed legislation following opposition from Uganda’s president, the country’s ethics minister said Thursday. President Yoweri Museveni has told colleagues he believes the bill is too harsh and has encouraged his ruling National Resistance Movement Party to overturn the death sentence provision, which would apply to sexually active gays living with HIV or in cases of same-sex rape. The proposed bill, though, says anyone convicted of a homosexual act would face life imprisonment and it is unclear whether Mr. Museveni supports that provision or not. But a group of non-traditional churches has accused Mr. Museveni of siding with gays and maintains that the Bible supports killing gays. The churches accuse the president of bowing to pressure from Uganda’s many international donors.
“If Museveni manages to convince parliament to drop the anti-gay bill, that will be the worst tragedy to befall Uganda,À said Pastor Solomon Male, the chairman of the church coalition, Arising for Christ. “Uganda should not dance to the tune of donors. We have our values to protect.À
Read the full story:

South Africa: Teen pays lobola for girl, 14

KwaZulu-Natal Premier Dr Zweli Mkhize and the province’s police Commissioner Mamunye Ngobeni were on Wednesday trying to stop the imminent wedding of a 17-year-old boy to a 14-year-old girl.
Ngobeni said that it had come to her attention that the bridegroom’s family had paid lobola – usually in the form of cash or cattle – to the girl’s parents on Tuesday. She is from Shongweni, outside Pinetown.
Read the full story:

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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

The rate of HIV infection among pregnant women in South Africa has remained high at around 29 percent for the third year running, according to government figures released in October 2009.

The infection rate among women in the 30 to 34 age group rose from 39.6 percent in 2007 to 40.4 percent in 2008. Age was found to be the most important risk factor, with women of 22 years or older significantly more likely to be HIV-infected. The information comes from the 2008 National Antenatal HIV and Syphilis Prevalence Survey.

Source: IRINPlusnews

Regional schedule of events taking place during the 16 Days campaign

  • Botswana holding a taking stock meeting of the 365 Day National Action Plan on 21st January 2010
  • GL, GEMSA and SOuthern Africa Gender Protocol Alliance partners will host a pre-Beijing Southern Africa caucus meeting on 4-5 February 2010. For More info contact: Kubi Rama:
  • On 18th to 20th January at Le Meridien hotel there will be a meeting on”Re-imagining feminist politics and strategies in the global southÀ organised by DAWN.
  • GL to convene first ever Gender Justice and Local Government Summit on 8-11 March 2010
  • The Law, Race & Gender Unit at the Faculty of Law, University of Cape Town is hosting a closed seminar on Women and Customary Law Discussion on the 27th January 2010. For more information contact: Aninka Claassens at 021-6505640.
  • The 4th Africa Conference on Sexual Health and Rights takes place between 9-12 Feb 2010 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The conference is being organised under the theme “Sexuality, HIV & AIDS in Africa” For more information:
  • Regional Conference on “Changing the river’s flow: challenging gender dynamics in a cultural context to address HIVÀ, 23 to 25 February 2010 in Johannesburg. For more information contact:
  • The Disability, Sexuality and Rights Online Training: 1 February 2010 À“ 1 April 2010. Course for Practitioners and Activists in Human Rights, Public Health and Development Organisations and Movements. For more information contact Caroline Earle at:; or +1-212-599-1071.
  • Commission on the Status of Women Bejing Plus Fifteen review to be held in New York 1-12 March
  • To celebrate March 8, Isis Centre for Women and Development (based in Fes, Morocco ) is organizing an international conference (March 8-10, 2010) on marginalized women: single mothers, divorced women, widows, household breadwinners, in brief women without men in a globalized world seriously threatened by the impact of the financial crisis. For more information contact Fatima Sadiqi at:

Governance and peace building

Mozambique: First woman speaker elected

The first woman speaker in the Mozambique parliament was sworn in at a ceremony in MaputoVeronica Macamo, who was previously deputy speaker of parliament, was voted in unopposed after the main opposition Renamo and the Mozambican Democratic Movement (MDM) did not field candidates.

Macamo, who is a lawyer by training, was elected on the Front for the Liberation of Mozambique (Frelimo) ticket for the Maputo constituency where she was the leading candidate for her party. She replaced Eduardo Mulembwe who has held the position of speaker for the past 15 years.

The number of women in parliament had increased from 96 to 106 following the October 28 elections. Read more


10th Anniversary of UN Security Council 1325

Security Council Resolution 1325 was passed unanimously on 31st of October 2000. It is the first resolution passed by the Security Council that specifically addresses the impact of war on women, and women’s contributions to conflict resolution and sustainable peace.

Full text of the resolution:
16 countries have drawn up National Actions Plans for the implementation of 1325: Austria; Belgium; Chile; Ivory Coast; Denmark; Finland; Iceland; Liberia; Norway; Portugal; Spain; Sweden, Switzerland; The Netherlands; Uganda; United Kingdom.
Read more on the National Action Plans at:
Read article on Women’s role in peace building by Tarja Halonen, Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf, Margot WallstrÁ¶m and Benita Ferroro-Waldner at:

Considerations are underway for the appointment of the Secretary-General’s new Special Representative on women, peace and security, as requested in Security Council Resolution 1888 (OP 4). Read the full article at:
Watch out for events and conferences planned to evaluate the implementation of the resolution by governments worldwide in the coming issues of Road Map to Equality.

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Economic justice, education and training

Regional: UNIFEM holding workshop for Women in Informal Cross Border Trade

UNIFEM is organizing for two workshops to take place: the first one, from Monday, 8th February 2010 to Tuesday, 9th February 2010, and the second one, from Wednesday 10th February 2010 to Thursday 11th February 2010, to explore issues that affect Women in Informal Cross Border Trade and gain a better understanding around this industry. The workshop will endeavor to identify a collective way forward for the SADC region to assist women working in this the sector.

Informal Cross-Border Trade refers to registered or unregistered business activities which are undertaken across country borders À“ based mainly on popular economy. One of the main characteristics of this trade is that it is not mandatory to submit tax returns at the end of each financial year, so income generated through this trade is not entered into national accounts. Generally, cross-border trade is conducted by small-scale quasi-professional traders, including women, who use various means to move small quantities of goods across national frontiers.

The workshop aims to engage with different stakeholders who have an interest in this issue:
– The first workshop (8th February – 9th February) will focus on providing training to participants from selected NGOs from Mozambique, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Botswana who are providing services to women involved in Informal Cross Border Trade. The objective of this training is to provide information on the rights and entitlements of women involved in cross border trade, and to develop the skills of the NGO participants in the provision of services to these women.
– The second workshop (10th FebruaryÀ“ 11th February) shall involve customs and government officials from Mozambique, South Africa, Zimbabwe, Swaziland and Botswana on issues around Informal Cross Border Trade. The workshop aims to provide a platform for the sharing of information on Women in Informal Cross Border Trade in Southern Africa, and an opportunity for discussion around the topic with a focus on gender relations and the empowerment of women. Countries who feel that they have developed and are currently exercising initiatives that contribute to the situation of women in Informal Cross Border Trade are invited to provide brief presentations on their initiatives with a view to identifying principles of good practice for use throughout the region.

Zimbabwe: Women and music education

By Joyce Jenje Makwenda

WOMEN’S careers are mostly determined by how they have been allowed to dream as they grow. There are limits to how far a woman can go regards dreaming which leads to her career choices. Patriarchy controls women’s minds by limiting women’s aspirations by the way they control their ability to dream.

Access to education which is a stepping stone to dreaming big can be limited to women depending on whether the resources available can accommodate them.
Formal education is often made available to the boy child more than the girl child.
Further, boys are allowed to experiment and if they fail, they are still encouraged and given support.

Girls are generally not supposed to fail, therefore women become afraid to try out new things including getting access to knowledge and skills
She might not go to school depending on the family’s resources, which usually favours the boy child to have formal education, and she can be deprived of education. Read more

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Health, HIV and AIDS

Africa: Disappointing results for microbicide research

New research has concluded that the vaginal microbicide gel, PRO 2000, does not prevent HIV infection in women, a study released on Monday said. “The researchers agree that while the results mean the end of the road for PRO 2000 – and the entire ‘second generation’ of microbicide formulations – they are upbeat about next-generation microbicides, which are already in trials,” a statement said. The trial involved 9 385 women in East and Southern Africa, and though the gel was safe, it did not prevent infection.”This was a large and important trial, and while it’s disappointing that PRO 2000 did not show an effect against HIV infection, nonetheless the product was safe and the trial was well conducted,” said Professor Helen Rees, e xecutive director of the Reproductive Health and HIV Research Unit, one of the participants in the trial. Microbicides are gels, foams or creams used to prevent the vaginal sexual transmission of the HI virus and other sexually transmitted infections when applied inside the vagina. Read more

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Media, information and communications

Women and media section of Beijing Platform for Action neglected

Gender and media activists feel that governments, United Nations bodies and other interested parties need to draw more attention to Section J (Women and media) of the Beijing Platform for Action. This section has previously recieved less interest compared to other issues contained in the Declaration. Section J of Bejing Platform for Action has two strategic objectives:

  • Strategic objective J.1. Increase the participation and access of women to expression and decision-making in and through the media and new technologies of communication.
  • Strategic objective J.2. Promote a balanced and non-stereotyped portrayal of women in the media.

Research shows that while there has been progress in a few countries women voices are still way lower than man in mainstream media. The third Global Media Monitoring Project report of 2005 shows that on average women comprise only 21% of news sources. Women’s points of view are rarely heard in the topics that dominate the news agenda; even in stories that affect women profoundly, such as gender-based violence, it is the male voice (64% of news subjects) that prevails. When women do make the news it is primarily as ‘stars’ or ‘ordinary people’, not as figures of authority. As newsmakers, women are under-represented in professional categories.

Byerly CM, (2009, Fall) poses a theory of feminist social responsibility with regards to news organisations that they should at all times seek to:

  • Provide coverage of issues and events that affect women’s status and well being
  • officer a forum for exchange, commenet and criticism on gender related issues
  • include equal representation in all levels of professional practice, governanceand ownership.

This has not yet been fully achieved. Nonetheless there are visible efforts by non-governmental organisations (NGOs) in the global south that have been working with newsrooms to develop inhouse gender and HIV and AIDS policies to provide a framework that will help them address the disparities between women and men in news content and the work place. Gender Links has worked with 138 out of 204 media houses located in Southern Africa to develop HIV and AIDS newsroom policies that are gender sensitive. The next phase involves developing gender policies with the media houses.

If government and UN agencies at global level, could get section J into their mainstream programming there would be more hope of achieving the strategic objectives set out in the Declaration.

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Integrated Approaches/Monitoring and Evaluation

Regional: Gender Justice and Local Government Summit, 8 À“ 10 March

Gender Links will be holding the first Gender Justice and Local government Summit from 08 – 11 March 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Under the banner “365 Days of local action to end gender violenceÀ the summit will include key note addresses and parallel seminars by international and local experts in the field of gender violence at local government level, and gender justice.

The first gender justice and local government summit aims to bring together local government councillors andofficials, relevant government ministries and NGOs that work with local government from the region. The summit will feature awards on good practices in ending gender violence, provide an opportunity to document and disseminate these good practices as well as give incentives to local authorities to innovate new and effective strategies for combating violence against women. Parallel seminars on promoting women’s representation and effective participationin local government structures will be a key feature at the summit.

Regional: 2010 – A significant year for African Women’s rights

2010 marks the beginning of the African Women’s Decade (2010 -2020). On the Roadmap for the African Women’s Decade: 2010-2020, aimed at advancing gender equality by accelerating implementation of Dakar, Beijing, and AU Assembly Decisions on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (GEWE), a meeting held at the end of 2009 in Banjul, the Gambia agreed to implement it via three phases.

  • The first phase would run through 2010-2014. The activities during this period would include, conducting a baseline survey on the status of women at the national level. The launch of the African Union Fund for Women would be done at national level through the creation of National Gender Equality Fund. The period will focus on gender based corporate social responsibility to re-engineer the private sector to concentrate on issues that affect women and allocate resources to meet such needs.
  • The second phase will focus on the continuation of implementation of the decade activities. The thematic identification and selection of themes to reflect the emerging issues such as violence against women, climate change and collaboration with men on gender equality processes will be crucial. A mid-term review of the Decade activities will be envisaged and indicators developed to measure progress
  • The third phase would be the final review and evaluation of the Decades’ programmes and output

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