Roadmap to Equality, Issue 8, February 2010

Date: September 17, 2010
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Issue 8| 15 February 2010

Table of contents

Editor’s note


Southern Africa caucus on Beijing Plus Fifteen review held

Southern African Gender Protocol Alliance draws up a Beijing +15 position paper

Key events to look out for at CSW

Global: African women to be linked to CSW through global cyber dialogues

Regional: Gender Justice and Local Government Summit to be held 22-24 March 2010

Gender-based Violence

Africa: UNiTE to End Violence against Women and Girls campaign launched

Africa:2010 FIFA world cup boosts Continent’s Human Trafiking

South Africa: ‘Man Up’ Campaign to Mobilize Youth Against Gender Violence.

Constitutional and Legal Rights

Africa: Crackdown on Gays Make the Closet Safer

Zambia: Police Breaking the Law to Prevent Crime

Kenya: 4-Year-Old Bride for Price of Beaded Necklace

Kill the Gays or Kill the Bill?

Governance and Peace Building

Zambia: Scarcely Room for Women in Male-Dominated Politics

Mozambique: First Women Speaker a Step of Equality

Kenya: Women Urged to be Agents of Peace,Reconciliation

Economic Justice, Education and Training

Gender Budgeting: Zimbabwe case study

South Africa:Women Must make Inroads in Construction

Health, HIV and AIDS

Zambia: Here’s How to Sustain HIV/AIDS Workplace policies

South Africa: The President and HIV prevention

Media, Information and Communications

Global: Join online discussion on Women and Media, Section J of Beijing Platform for Action

Integrated Approaches/ Monitoring and Eval- uation

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

Botswana National Action Plan to End Gender Based Violence under review

Gender Resources

Gender Evangelist

Grace Chiumia, Member of Parliament from Malawi, Northern Province.

In a race to win elections in her constituency in Nkhatabay West, northern Malawi, Grace Chiumia coined herself ‘Obama’. Yes she can, and she did.

Chiumia is the first woman, member of parliament to be in her constituency. Chiumia took the role of an MP seriously and as the first and only woman who ran for the post against eight other men she did it.

She is the second deputy chair person for the health and population committee in Malawi. She has found her grounding and in her first months in her position as an MP, she has found that there is need to have a voice for the women and children in communities that are most vulnerable to HIV and AIDS.
These include children who are heading house holds in most communities of Malawi. Families in Malawi are slowly come to terms with the understanding of stigma and discrimination towards people living with HIV and AIDS (PLWHA).

Chiumia attended the VSO-RAISA MP training in Pretoria to assist members of parliament to be more articulate on the issues pertaining to HIV and AIDS policy implementation in the context of care work.Read more about her.

Country Highlights











South Africa






Editor’s note

Dear colleagues,

I bring good news À“ the Southern Africa Gender Protocol Alliance has its own website that can be accessed on this URL: Let us keep this website fresh and relevant À“ we would like to feature what is happening in your country around implementation of the SADC Gender Protocol and related matters. Institutionally the Alliance has been going through metamorphosis as part of its growth. Following an institutional meeting on 6th February on the b ack of the Southern Africa pre-Beijing Plus Fifteen caucus it was agreed that NGO coalitions (in particular the gender sectors within the structures) anchor the Alliance as part of strengthening Alliance country structures. A detailed summary of the outcomes of the meeting is featured later in this issue.

This edition brings you information about the 54th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) due to take place in New York from 1 À“ 12 March 2010. Gender activists, development partners, governments and interested parties the world over will be focused on fifteenth review of the Beijing Platform for Action during CSW. Governments are expected to report on progress they have made in addressing the 12 critical areas of concern since adopting Beijing Platform for Action (BPFA). Civil society from around the globe has produced shadow reports to be launched on the sidelines and taking positions on demands to their respective governments on accelerating implementation of the BPFA strategic objectives. Emphasis will be placed on the sharing of experiences and good practices, with a view to overcoming remaining obstacles and new challenges, including those related to the Millennium Development Goals.

If you are going to New York you have a chance to attend these launches and other parallel events. Later in this issue you will find details about the launch of the Africa Women’s Regional Shadow Report on Beijing +15 scheduled for the 1st of March. You will also find information about other key events being organised by the Southern Africa Gender Protocol Alliance partners. The Alliance will get a chance to showcase the process leading up to the adoption of the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development by Heads of States in August 2008, as a good practice during the African Women’s Caucus on March 3rd at ten o’clock in the morning at the UN Church Centre.

Gender Links working with Gender and Media Southern Africa Network (GEMSA) and associate partner Africa Women’s Child and Feature Service (AWC) invite you to join thematic Global Cyber dialogues (2 À“ 8 March) that are aimed at ensuring that those who are not going to CSW can engage with news coming out of main and parallel events taking place in New York. So we hope to see you in cyber space! A daily news paper, Daily Links will be produced and distributed in New York and online on the Gender Links website. Publications on gender developments from Sub Saharan Africa will also be on sale physically and online. Click here for more information.

In preparation for the global event a Southern Africa pre-Beijing Plus Fifteen caucus meeting was hosted by Gender Links in collaboration with GEMSA and other Alliance partners. Click here for full report (to link after edit). For Southern Africa the BPFA critical areas of concern are closely linked to the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development 28 targets. So failure to meet BPFA commitments means failure in achieving the SADC Gender Protocol targets hence the regional NGO position is based on findings of the SADC Gender Protocol Baseline Barometer of 2009.

While there has been progress in Southern Africa like more women in political decision making positions in Angola, Malawi, Mozambique and South Africa there are some slippages like in Botswana where women political representation in combined houses has moved down 3.2% from 11.1 to 7.9%.

There are some slippages in areas such as HIV and AIDS for example. It is evident that some of the leaders are not practicing what they preach. South African president Jacob Zuma’s polygamous status and the debate around whether it is fitting for a national leader or not is a sad example of culture practices have been abused. He reportedly has 20 known children (or more), several wives and sexual partners. Could he lead a nation in HIV and AIDS prevention efforts one wanders?

Gender Links and partners will hold the first local government and gender justice summit this March from 22nd – 24th to provide an opportunity to document and disseminate good practices as well as give incentives to local authorities to innovate new and effective strategies for combating violence against women, HIV and AIDS, empower women and improve human security.

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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Southern Africa caucus on Beijing Plus Fifteen review held

As the globe focuses on the Beijing Platform For Action fifteen year review it must be applauded that Southern Africa has made some strides, however small, towards achieving gender equality. This was noted by civil society members and government representatives with support from development partners including UNIFEM at a sub-regional pre-Beijing Plus Fifteen caucus held 4-6 February 2010 in Johannesburg and convened by Gender Links and GEMSA.

The meeting brought together 39 (34 females and 5 males) participants comprising the Southern Africa Gender Protocol Alliance members, government representatives, FEMNET and other strategic partners to establish a regional position on progress made by SADC States ahead of the Beijing Platform for Action (BPFA) fifteen year review. The review will take place at the 54th Session of the United Nations Commission on the Status Women (CSW) in March this year.

The meeting provided an opportunity to get feedback on Southern Africa’s input to and outcomes of the Africa Women’s NGO Consultative Meeting held in the margins of the Eighth Africa Regional Conference on Women (focused on Beijing+15) in Banjul, The Gambia. The Africa NGO report was circulated and commented upon at the meeting. Participants also planned for global citizen participation in CSW through cyber dialogues and how the region can be represented at other parallel events.

The SADC Gender Unit was represented and paid tribute to the work by Gender NGOs in assisting governments and other role players in working towards gender equality particularly in the region. FEMNET participated in its capacity as coordinator of the drafting of the Africa Beijing Plus Fifteen NGO shadow report and Africa caucus at the CSW.

At the caucus it was acknowledged that in order to work around some of the areas that the region still battles it was imperative to work together. Three key regional campaigns were identified that civil society working with government could rally around. For example, the 50/50 women in decision making; Making Care Work Count and Red Light 2010 (with a focus on getting anti-human trafficking legislation in place in all SADC countries by 2015). Malawi in particular demonstrates a best practice where civil society has partnered effectively with government with support from development partners in a 50/50 campaign and the dividends are paying off.

Click here for full report

Southern Africa Gender Protocol Alliance draws up a Beijing Plus 15 position paper

The Southern Africa Protocol Alliance prepared a position paper for the 54th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women which will focus on Beijing Platform for Action fifteenth review. It is a snapshot of civil society’s view of SADC member states progress in meeting the BPFA strategic objectives and actions committed therein.

This is largely drawn for the SADC Gender Protocol Baseline Barometer, an Alliance annual publication that tracks progress of SADC member states in meeting targets set in the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development. The thematic areas covered are similar to what constitutes the BPFA critical areas of concern. It also includes a citizen’s score card on the thematic areas of the SADC Protocol. Because the Protocol is a sub-regional one stop shop that brings together key commitments of sub-regional, regional and international instruments that relate to gender and development the findings can be used as indicators of progress on BPFA.

SADC has scored a global first by adopting a SADC Protocol on Gender and Development which encompasses main provisions of gender related regional and international instruments. The Gender Protocol has 28 targets and timelines for achieving these. This shows that there is political will though more needs to be done especially in terms of allocating the required resources when drawing up national budgets to ensure that these commitments are fulfilled.

There are areas which are showing signs of progress such as education and women in political decision making. While most of the countries are nowhere near the 50% target of women in decision making as called for by BPFA, the SADC Gender Protocol , Africa Union Protocol on Women’s Rights and other instruments there are some gains in some areas of decision making. For example in parliament (combined houses): Angola has moved up by 23.6% from 15 to 38.6%; South Africa by 10.1% from 32.6 to 42.7%; Malawi by 8.2% from 13 to 21.2% and Mozambique by 3.6% from 34.8 to 38.4% and first women speaker in parliament. The meeting emphasised however that these gains need to be guarded because there has been slippages such as Botswana which has moved down by 3,2% from 11,1 to 7,9%.

However in other sectors such as private sector, media and government bureaucratic structures women are still at the bottom.

Significant progress has been made in the education sector as almost all countries have reached gender parity in primary and secondary education. Gender based violence is high on national agendas as many of the countries now have some form of year long multi-sector action plans to end gender violence. At least nine countries have legislation on domestic violence, seven on specific sexual offences legislation.

Civil society does recognise the progress to the extent that in a citizen scorecard governments were rated to have achieved 55% towards implementing the Gender Protocol in the SADC Gender Protocol Barometer Baseline Barometer.

Nonetheless, there are many gaps: traditional harmful customary practices remain; women still bear the burden of unpaid care work for those with HIV and AIDS, the aged and orphans, without much assistance from governments (except in Botswana); basic services are inadequate; gender stereotypes in media remain among other findings in the Baseline Barometer.

As we go to the CSW these are some of the issues that will feature in the Southern Africa civil society position paper. It will be interesting to note what the SADC governments have to say if there is going to be a Beijing Plus Fifteen official report. View Southern Africa position paper and send comments to: Click here to get the position paper


Global: African women to be linked to CSW through global cyber dialogues

Gender Links, Gender and Media Southern Africa (GEMSA) with support from Unifem will hold cyber dialogues , online chats anchored on the GL website parallel to the 54th session on the Commission on the Status of Women. The main aim of the cyber dialogues is to ensure global interaction with the news coming out of New York for those not attending the CSW . This is especially targeted at getting African women’s voices heard from the Global South who are often marginalised because of lack of resources to travel and access to information. This will happen under the banner “Making IT work for gender justice”

Outcomes of the cyber dialogues will feature in a Daily Newspaper, Daily Links, to be produced by Gender Links and its partner the AfricaWomen Feature Service (AWC) and distributed at CSW and on the Gender Links website. <!-[if !vml]->

Time: The cyber discussions would run from 9 am to 10 am each day New York time. The online discussion will immediately be followed by a face to face discussion from 10-11 am in New York and the other centres.

Location: Anyone around the world with a laptop or Internet connction can join the cyber ialogues. But these will also have anchor points at locationsin in ten Southern African countries and global partners.


  • The first 15-20 minutes will review the news of the day. This would be facilitated by different members of the editorial team who covered particular stories.
  • The latter 40 minutes would focus on the theme for the day, with two to three conference participants who are experts in that particular field (including one African expert on each day) available at the “hubÀ.
  • The discussion would be structured according to four questions on the theme determined in advance by the partner organizations in this venture.


  • One overall facilitator would ensure adherence to time and basic online discussion protocols.
  • The overall facilitator would summarise and post the discussions each day.

The discussions will be held in English, French and Spanish. However, we will explore with partners how to ensure participation, access and understanding on the ground through local facilitators.



Slogan of the day

Tuesday, March 2nd

Gender and governance

The best man for the job is a woman

Wednesday, March 3rd

Gender and media

Equality in and through the media

Thursday, March 4th

Gender and Soccer 2010

Score a goal for gender equality

Friday, March 5th

HIV and AIDS and care work

Making care work count

Monday, March 8th

Gender Based Violence

Yes we can end gender violence

Click here for more information

Venue: If you are in New York join the face to face discussions in the Boardroom of the Ford Foundation, 320 East 43rd Street, New York, N.Y. 10017 USA

In Southern Africa the dialogues will be anchored in country if you want to participate in a face to face discussion please get in touch with the following and make arrangements to be there:

/Contact Person/ Contact number/ E-mail

Botswana, Keabanye Ntsabane,
DRC, Dorothee Swedi, 243999913746,
Lesotho, Sophia Thali, 26658920793,
Malawi, Emma Kaliya, 265888825376,
Mauritius, Gareth White 2304669873
mozambique, Clementina Comate, 258823808950,
Namibia, Sarry Xoagus-Eises, 2646128825921,
South Africa, Seanna Chingamuka 27116222877,
Swaziland, Ncane Maziya, 2686240486,
Zambia, Perpetual Sichinkwenkwe, 260211264132,
Zimbabwe, Magaret Zunguze, 263912363429,

Click here for member states reports on Beijing Plus Fifteen

Click here for regiona blocks BPFA progress reports

2010 NGO Global Forum for Women: Beijing +15
Dates: Sat, Feb 27, 2010 to: Thu, Jan 28, 2010

2010 marks the 15th anniversary of the Beijing World Conference on Women. In recognition of this anniversary, the NGO Committee on the Status of Women, NY is organizing an NGO Global Women’s Forum from February 27 to 28 2010 to consider implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPfA). The Forum program will include two full conference days commencing with an opening ceremony, and continuing with plenary sessions, panel discussions, and workshops. The NGO CSW is the principal locus of NGO facilitation and coordination for the Forum and is working closely with NGOs and UN partners to assure full and representative participation from all regions of the world, especially from developing countries. For regular updates click here

To get a full list of parallel events of CSW54 from the NGO Global Forum for Women click here

Launch of the Africa Women’s Regional Shadow Report on Beijing +15 in the margins of the 54th Session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women.
Keynote Speaker: Hon. Gertrude Mongella
Date: March 1st, 2010
Time: 2:00 to 4:00PM
Venue: 8th Floor, Church Centre for the United Nation, 777 UN Plaza (corner of 44th Street and 1st Avenue), New York

Title Showcasing of the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development as a good practice
During Session Two of the African Women’s caucus with the theme African Voices: How Implementing the Beijing Platform for Action is Impacting Women’s Lives. The drafting of the African Women’s Oral Statement to the CSW led by Mama Koite of FEMNET will take place in this session.
Date: March 3, 2010
Venue: 8th floor of the UN Church Centre, 777 UN Plaza (corner of 44th Street and 1st Avenue), New York

Gender Equality Architecture Reform at the UN organised by GEAR Campaign Working Group
Date: 1st March
Time: 4:00 À“ 5:30pm
Venue: Church Center, 10th Floor,

Physical and online sale of Gender Links publications
If you want to pay cash or pay online and get your books instantly while in New York please visit
Click here for an online catalogue

Daily Newspaper, Daily Links will be produced and circulated each morning from 2nd À“ 8th March at CSW. You can also view the paper online on:

Updates from Beijing Plus 15
Please visit:

Regional: Gender Justice and Local Government Summit to be held 22-24 March 2010

Gender Links (GL) will be holding the first Local Government and Gender Justice Summit from 22 – 24 March 2010 in Johannesburg, South Africa. The deadline for submission of best practices has been extended to 22 February 2010.

Under the banner “365 Days of local action to end gender violence” 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 local government and gender justice summit aims to bring together local government councillors and officials, 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 participation in local government structures will be a key feature at the summit. Read more

Click here for call for good practices

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Gender-based violence

Africa: UNiTE to End Violence against Women and Girls campaign launched.

Africa-UNiTE to End Violence against Women and Girls, the Africa component of the UN Secretary-General’s global campaign, was launched on 30 January in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia. The event was attended by representatives from Member States of the African Union, the United Nations system and civil society.

As outlined in a presentation by Micheline Ravololonarisoa, Chief of UNIFEM’s Africa Section, the campaign aims to mobilize UN Member States, civil society, the private sector, the UN system, as well as individual men, women and youth, to join forces to turn existing commitments to end violence against women into a reality by 2015, the deadline for achieving the Millennium Development Goals.

In a message from UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, delivered by the UN Under-Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of the UN Economic Commission for Africa, Abdoulie Janneh, he emphasized the need for taking concrete steps to end impunity for violence against women and girls. He called on African leaders to listen to the voices of survivors of such violence and to show strong political leadership in their response. The Secretary-General made reference to his recent launch of the Network of Men Leaders and stated his strong belief that men must teach each other that real men do not violate or oppress women À“ and that a woman’s place is not just in the home or the field, but in schools and offices and boardrooms.

“We know African women are often a linchpin keeping families, communities, and nations together,” Mr. Ban said .

African women are the “driving force to overcome poverty, reduce hunger, fight illiteracy, heal the sick, prevent the spread of disease and promote stability,” he said in a message read on his behalf by Cheick Sidi Diarra, UN High Representative for the Least Developed Countries, Landlocked Developing Countries and Small Island Developing States. Read more

Source: UN News services.

Africa:2010 FIFA world cup boosts Continent’s Human Trafiking

By Issa Sikiti Da Silva

“This is an African World Cup and every African must somehow benefit from it,” a human trafficker told this week, requesting ‘absolute’ anonymity.

Since 2004, the year SA was chosen to organise the World Cup, human trafficking ‘offices’ have been opened at various African countries, where unscrupulous people working as ‘agents’ register desperate people dying to get to the ‘final destination’ (SA) to seek any form of employment or business opportunities.

“Our agents coordinate our clients’ travel arrangements and send them to a certain point, where I go fetch them and bring them into SA from Beit Bridge.

“With no passports, no visa or any form of paper, their entry is guaranteed by our connections and it is easy as long as you can speak the correct language,” the source said, referring to bribes.

The source said business has been booming since 2004, adding every month they bring at least 50, 70 and sometimes 100 people, which makes it close to 1200 people each year, at a price ranging from US$2000 (about R15 000) to US$6000 (about R44 500), depending on the country of departure.

Read more


South Africa: ‘Man Up’ Campaign to Mobilize Youth Against Gender Violence.

By Henoch Derbew

Often overlooked, gender inequity is a prevalent global reality, directly affecting females across virtually every demographic. It exists in various forms, from systematic exclusion from social leadership, politics, and business to using rape as a terrorizing weapon in conflicts.

To stop this, especially the violence against women, the New York-based “Man Up” campaign seeks to organize youth around the world to initiate concrete change at the community level.

“Man Up’s” Co-Founder and Executive Director, Jimmie Briggs – a writer, teacher, journalist, and advocate – has worked for several key organizations pushing for equal rights for women, including Amnesty International, the United Nations, and Oxfam. He has also written articles published in LIFE and The Washington Post, as well as books on child soldiers living in some of the most dangerous conflict zones, such as the Democratic Republic of Congo. He is currently preparing to publish another book this year entitled “The Wars Women Fight.” Read more

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Consitutional and legal rights

Africa: Crackdown on Gays Make the Closet Safer.

More than two-thirds of African countries have laws criminalizing homosexual acts, and despite accounting for a significant percentage of new infections in many countries, men who have sex with men tend to be left out of the HIV response.

NAIROBI, 19 January 2010 (PlusNews) – More than two-thirds of African countries have laws criminalizing homosexual acts, and despite accounting for a significant percentage of new infections in many countries, men who have sex with men tend to be left out of the HIV response.

“[They] are going underground; they are hiding themselves and continuing to fuel the epidemic,” UNAIDS executive director Michél Sidibé told IRIN/PlusNews recently. “We need to make sure these vulnerable groups have the same rights everyone enjoys: access to information, care and prevention for them and their families.”

IRIN/PlusNews has compiled a short list of human rights violations against gay Africans: Read more

Source: IRIN PlusNews

Zambia: Police Breaking the Law to Prevent Crime

Juniper Mwale was attending a funeral in another town when her husband jumped bail and fled the country. Despite not being aware of her husband’s escape, police tracked her down and detained her illegally in an effort to force her spouse home.

Detaining someone without cause is against the law in Zambia. But the country’s police continue to do this, specifically targeting the female relatives of a suspect, in an attempt to gather information or force the suspect out into the open. Read more

Source : IPS

Kenya: 4-Year-Old Bride for Price of Beaded Necklace

By Hassan Huka and Muchiri Karanja

In a remote part of Samburu, four-year-olds are neither attending school nor have they an inkling of video and computer games that their urban counterparts take so much for granted.

In the villages of Kipsing location, Ol Donyiro Division, 100 kilometres from Isiolo Town, four-year-old Itoms is on the run; first from her own parents, who want her circumcised before marrying her off for 10 cattle, and from Samburu morans (Maasai warriors), who for a beaded necklace called saen, are free to have sex with a girl barely out of her diapers.Itoms turns five this year. Yet, according to Samburu tradition, she is old enough to fetch bride-price for her father and become a wife to a man seven times her age. She had already been booked for sex and eventual marriage to a 27-year-old Moran, in a common ritual called Aisho saen (wearing a necklace).

But a local child rights activist got wind of it thanks to local assistant chief, Henry Lesokoyo, and whisked her away from home. Little Itoms has no idea what the man who “booked” her looks like, and is crying to go back home. Read more

Daily Nation online

Kill the Gays or Kill the Bill?

On behalf of and as a member of the Civil Society Coalition on Human Rights & Constitutional Law, the Refugee Law Project has released the Coalition’s recent compilation of articles, opinions and press statements related to the Anti-Homosexuality Bill currently before Uganda’s Parliament.

As many of you will be aware, the Bill poses a substantial threat to human rights in Uganda, both the rights of same-sex attracted and trans-gendered people and of anybody who fails to report them and the rights of those who seek to work in a supportive manner. Whether it be in terms of protecting LGBTI rights, working on HIV/AIDS prevention, providing counselling, or simply providing information on sex and sexuality, civil society organisations, academics and health workers are all under threat should this bill be passed. Some of the Refugee Law Project’s refugee and asylum seeker clients will be placed at further risk if the Bill passes, and the day-to-day work of providing legal aid and counselling will also be substantially jeopardised.
Read more

Source: Women’sNet

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Governance and peace building

Zambia: Scarcely Room for Women in Male-Dominated Politics

As we monitor the implementation of the SADC protocol on gender and development in the SADC region. We realise that there are Governments in the region which are still grappling with the subject of incorporating women in issues of governance and decision making positions.

Zambia, a country in the SADC region, goes to the polls in 2011, sadly the country is likely to see a further reduction of the number of females in decision making.

This article gives us a clear indication of what is occurring not only in Zambia, but in many southern African countries as well.

Charity Mwansa, a former minister and Member of Parliament, knows just exactly what being one of the very few female politicians in Zambia means. When she left politics it had nothing to with not being able to do the work and instead had everything to do with the mad world of male-dominated politics.

“It was too hectic, tiring and one needs a lot of stamina to be in the rough and tumble of politics. You do not deal with normality, there is a bit of madness.”

Mwansa, who cites the adage “if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen”, is just another woman who has declined to participate in the country’s next elections. She says that having to constantly watch her back; putting out fires where other people created problems for her; and just having to be alert of plotting against her 24/7 became a bit too much. Read more
Source : IPS

Mozambique: First Women Speaker a Step of Equality

By Fred Katerere

Mozambique is continuing to see a steady stream of changes when it come to upping the gender mix in the country’s political landscape. The most recent victory was the unanimous election of Veronica Macamo, a member of the ruling Frelimo party, who made history when she became the first woman speaker of parliament at a swearing in ceremony in the capital Maputo on 12 January.

Mozambique is continuing to see a steady stream of changes when it come to upping the gender mix in the country’s political landscape. The most recent victory was the unanimous election of Veronica Macamo, a member of the ruling Frelimo party, who made history when she became the first woman speaker of parliament at a swearing in ceremony in the capital Maputo on 12 January.

Macamo was one of 106 women elected to Parliament during last October’s elections, an increase from 96 in the previous parliament, which brought the gender balance to 42.4% women. Read more

Source: PambazukaNews

Kenya: Women Urged to be Agents of Peace,Reconciliation

Women have been called upon to assist the Church to build peace and reconciliation at family levels.

“Your centrality at the family levels qualifies you as better persons in peace-making and promoting reconciliation at the family levels; hence the Church should make use of the gift” Fr. Michael Czerny as he addressed an annual general meeting for women peacemakers, organized in Nairobi by the Association of Sisterhoods in Kenya (AOSK).

Fr. Michael Czerny a Jesuit is the Coordinator of the African Jesuit AIDS Network (AJAN), based at Kangemi in the outskirts of Nairobi and who also served as an Adjutor at the Second session of the Synod for Africa in Rome in October 2009 addressed the theme: The Synod for Africa and its implications on the Church in Africa”

He observed; “Our Fathers did bring out much on peace-building and reconciliation issue, but effective implementation on them will depend on contributions from many a stakeholders in the Church including women themselves”. Read more


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Economic justice, education and training

Gender Budgeting: Zimbabwe case study

By Dorothy Adebanjo

If there is one indicator of a government’s À“ or any other institution’s À“ commitment to social justice, it is its allocation of budgetary resources for women. Often governments and institutions are very quick to tick on the checklist that they have signed and ratified international instruments and put policies and laws in place that promote social justice for women, but they seldom match this with the necessary budgetary allocations that actually translate the signature into transformation of women’s lives.

This is the reason why women’s rights activists have over the years spent significant amounts of energy advocating for gender budgeting, as a model and tool that ensures effective and responsive public policies for women.

The overall goal of gender budgeting is to reduce gender inequalities and to promote gender-sensitive development policies for poverty reduction and improvement of the welfare of women and men, boys and girls through the national budget À“ to achieve gender-sensitive budgets that address the needs of all people equitably, while taking into consideration the special needs of people with disabilities, the youth and the elderly. Read more

South Africa:Women Must make Inroads in Construction

Deputy Minister of Public Works Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu has encouraged women contractors to make their mark in the industry.
Bogopane-Zulu said South Africa was a country that was transforming and every industry, including construction, should be part of that change.

“Construction sites should not make women feel like they need to be men, but rather they need to change because women have arrived,” she said, speaking during a roundtable discussion with women contractors on Friday.

She said her department was doing its bit too and putting together plans to establish a gender unit to help in understanding what it is that needs to be done differently and address issues such as the expectations of women in the industry. Read more

Source – BuaNews

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Health, HIV and AIDS

Zambia: Here’s How to Sustain HIV/AIDS Workplace policies

Workplaces are increasingly being targeted as fertile grounds for the fight against HIV/AIDS because workers spend most of their time there; working and interacting with their colleagues.

Because of their higher literacy levels, workers are also better placed to understand the meaning, causes, preventive measures, and other issues surrounding the epidemic, which has continued to attract the attention of governments, civil society, and other interest groups owing to its devastating effects on populations.

HIV/AIDS has many cost implications on the economy of a country as it wipes out the productive sector of the population. Similarly, the social landscape of a country is affected. Many breadwinners die, the number of orphans escalates, and anti-social behaviour such as commercial sex work goes up. Health experts have established an important link between poverty and HIV/AIDS.

Zambia is one of the sub-Saharan African countries worst affected by the pandemic, with a prevalence rate of about 14.3 per cent, according to the latest Ministry of Health estimates. The 2008 Zambia Demographic Health Survey, states that 16 per cent of women and 12 per cent of men of sexually active age are HIV positive, with young people aged between 15 and 24 accounting for 6.5 per cent of the HIV statistics.

Some of the key factors in the spread of HIV are multiple, concurrent sexual partners that some people have engaged themselves in. Read more

South Africa: The President and HIV prevention
HIV prevention is based on getting people to change their sexual habits – but this is a very difficult process as President Zuma has shown.

Although South Africa has almost a million HIV positive people on treatment, actuaries tell us that over 300,000 citizens are still being infected with the virus every year.

This prompted health economist Professor Alan Whiteside to remark recently that “HIV treatment without prevention is like mopping the floor while the tap is running”.

The bottom line is: unless we are able to improve on our HIV prevention efforts, the health system will soon be overwhelmed by those who need treatment. Already, our hospitals and clinics are battling to deal with HIV/AIDS, and Treasury estimates that we’ll need an extra R2-billion a year until 2021 to pay for HIV treatment.

But HIV prevention is a slow and difficult process. Most of the weapons assembled by social scientists over the past decade to protect humanity against HIV infection are based on getting people to change their sexual behaviour and this does not happen overnight, especially amongst older people with entrenched patterns.

For years, South Africans have been battling to learn the sexual alphabet that our prevention campaign has been based on: Abstain, Be faithful, Condomise.

But President Zuma’s aversion to using condoms during his extramarital relationships, despite having numerous children born out of wedlock, is a good example of just how difficult it is for older people to adapt to less risky sexual behaviour.

In 2005, Zuma was accused of raping an HIV positive woman. During his trial in 2006, he admitted that he had not used a condom and was ridiculed for saying that he had protected himself by taking a shower after sex. But last year, despite marrying two more wives, Zuma also produced a baby with a woman who was not his wife, Sonono Khoza. Read more


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Media, information and communications

Global: Join online discussion on Women and Media, Section J of Beijing Platform for Action

The United Nations Department of Public Information would like to invite you to an online discussion on “Women and the MediaÀ, one of the 12 critical areas of concern identified in the Beijing Platform for Action in 1995. It is scheduled to take place from 1 to 28 February 2010.

It is part of a series of United Nations online discussions dedicated to the fifteen-year review of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (1995) and the outcomes of the twenty-third special session of the General Assembly (2000); and is hosted by WomenWatch (, an inter-agency project of the United Nations Inter-agency Network on Women and Gender Equality (IANWGE). WomenWatch is a unique electronic gateway to web-based information on all United Nations entities’ work and the outcomes of the United Nations’ intergovernmental processes for the promotion of gender equality and women’s empowerment. These discussions will be a contribution to the 54th session of the Commission on the Status of Women, which will take place from 1 to 12 March 2010.

Section J of the Beijing Platform for Action ( presents two strategic objectives for Women and the Media:

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

Despite progress on many areas, numerous challenges remain. The online discussion provides an opportunity for individuals, organizations and networks to share views, experiences and achievements, to identify gaps and challenges, and to propose future action to improve women’s participation in the media area

The discussion will run for four weeks and address the following issues:

– Week One À“ 1 to 7 February: Achieving gender equality in media organizations through adequate policies;
– Week Two À“ 8-14 February: Addressing the gender gap (Equal Jobs À“ Equal Pay) À“ Women working in the media;
– Week Three À“ 15-21 February: Portrayal of women in media and gender stereotyping;
– Week Four À“ 22-28 February: Violence against women journalists and any other issues; and wrap-up and recommendations.

The online discussion will be moderated by the UN Department of Information. You can access it at: You can choose to participate in one or all of the issues, depending on your availability and interest.

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Integrated Approaches/Monitoring and Evaluation

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

Gender Links, working with strategic government and NGO partners and with support from UNIFEM, DFID and Norwegian Council for Africa, is developing indicators for measuring gender based violence. This is an important tool for measuring whether Southern Africa States will meet the deadline in the SADC Gender and Development Protocol to halve current levels of gender based violence by 2015. A pilot study is being rolled out in Gauteng province of South Africa, and two other countries Botswana and Mauritius.

What prompted the project is the fact that currently there are no indicators for measuring gender based violence that can be applied regionally except through police statistics. The question then arises what of the unreported cases? And other unrecorded forms of violence such as economic abuse, emotional abuse among others.

Following desktop in 2008 research a reference group which includes research institutes, gender NGOs and key government representatives was formed to develop a methodology for the project. Extensive reference group meetings were held over 2009 to refine the methodology which drew a lot from the UN expert group report on measuring gender based violence but adapted to Southern Africa.

The pilot study is set to begin in earnest beginning of March in Gauteng while in Mauritius, Gender Links has entered into an agreement with the Mauritius Research Council to conduct a comprehensive study on the prevalence of gender-based violence in Mauritius in the first-half of 2010. It is expected that the study À“ a first in the Indian Ocean island À“ will provide invaluable information on the extent and causes of violence, as well as on the impact of prevention initiatives. In Botswana round table discussions have be held in rolling out the project. .

Botswana National Action Plan to End Gender Based Violence under review.

Women’s Affairs Department and Gender Links convened a meeting with, members of government and civil society on the 21st of January 2010 in Gaborone to take stock on the progress made in implem addressing violence against women in the country.

On a positive side, Botswana passed a Domestic Violence Act in the year 2008. However, much needs to be done and the delegates agreed on the need to establish a national task team to revisit the National Action Plan drafted in 2007. Once reviewed this will form the road map for tackling gender based violence in the country.

It was agreed that this will go a long way in ensuring progress towards achieving the SADC Gender Protocol target to half current levels gender based violence by 2015 and other commitments on gender based violence are going to be achieved

Southern Africa Gender Protocol Institutional matters
The Southern Africa Gender Protocol Alliance thematic lead organisations and country focal persons met on the 6th of February 2010 on the back of the Southern Africa preBeijing caucus meeting to review the three year operation plan and institutional mechanisms. Click here to see full report

A summary of keyoutcomes is given below:

– New strategy is that there is need to broaden participation as has happened in a number of countries. Rather have an individual focal point, instead have organisations as focal points to institutionalise the country structures À“ for accountability and continuity. Suggested organisations for each country will feature next month once they have agreed to be focal institutions.
– The operational plan was simplified and actions for 2010 identified in thematic working groups during the meeting. Thematic clusters should take up the action plan À“ and identify where there are opportunities for fundraising in order to execute the plan.
– Run sustainable regional campaigns as rallying action points: the campaigns include 50/50 women in decision making, Gender and Soccer 2010 and Making care work campaign.
– Hold a monthly teleconference on the 1st of every month or first working day of the month to track implementation of action plan.
– Review organogram and operational guidelines to reflect the suggested organisations once they have agreed.
– Draw up country level thematic clusters À“ based on existing thematic groupings within the NGO coalitions/coordinating bodies.
– The Alliance will have its own website URL is or
– The Alliance should consider developing an annual report by the next heads of state summit.
– Reflect on the direction the SADC Protocol Alliance is going since the original reason for its formation (signing of the SADC Gender Protocol) has been accomplished.
– Broaden participation and advocacy work to local level À“ including local government structures such as Botswana
– Document processes and good practices for learning and sharing of knowledge. E.g. the Malawi 50/50 campaign
– Make use of the annual Barometer as tool to hold governments accountable and there is need to hold country workshops to update baseline data in the second quarter of the year.

The Alliance should join FEMNET as an associate member and individual organisations wishing to join as full members are welcome to do so. Click here for information on how to join FEMNET and the benefits for doing so.

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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

Violence against women and girls is a problem of pandemic proportions. Based on country data available , up to 70 per cent of women experience physical or sexual violence from men in their lifetime À“ 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 À“ 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

Regional schedule of events taking place during the 16 Days campaign

  • Commission on the Status of Women Bejing Plus Fifteen review to be held in New York 1-12 March
  • Cyber dialogues 2-8 March visit in the last week of February
  • GL to convene first ever Gender Justice and Local Government Summit on 22-24 March 2010
  • 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.
  • 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.


List of countries that have signed

South Africa

List of countries that have not singed


List of countries that have ratified


List of countries that have not ratified

South Africa
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