Roadmap to Equality, Issue 9, May 2010

Date: September 17, 2010
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Issue 9| 1 MAY 2010

Table of contents

Editor’s note


New section: The SADC Gender Protocol @ Work

Soccer 2010: Score a goal for gender equality

Regional: A tale of two neighbours turning sixteen and thirty

South Africa: Women shut out of the labour market

Mauritius: Another step back for SADC women in parliament?

Regional:Gender Justice & Local Govt awards

Global: Australia is first to recognise ‘non-specified’ gender

Gender-based Violence

Mozambique: Judge releases traffickers in women

South Africa: Men’s group win equality case against powerful politician

Zimbabwe: Rape, sexual abuse ZANU PF’s poll weapons, report

Sexed pistols points barrels at cultures of violence

Constitutional and Legal Rights

Zambia: NCC adopts article on gender as part of new constitution

South Africa: Anti human trafficking bill introduced in parliament

Malawi: Patrilineal inheritance prevents women’s access to land

Governance and Peace Building

Tanzania: Women need their own election manifesto

Tanzania: Parties must empower women to contest in elections

DRC: UN helps women fight under representation in government

Economic Justice, Education and Training

Angola: Draft law on betterment of rural women wellbeing presented

Global: World Bank says gender inequality still rampant globally

Health, HIV and AIDS

South Africa: Treatment first, case number later

South Africa: The President and HIV prevention

UNAIDS launches plan to empower women and girls to prevent HIV and AIDS

Media, Information and Communications

Angola:Journalists toldto pay greater attention to gender violence

Kenya: Wanted – More females in our newsrooms

Ghana: Media devote minimal space to gender issues

Tanzania: Awareness campaign on women’s rights gets boost

Integrated Approaches/ Monitoring and Eval- uation

Website to serve as global hub for ending gender based violence

Africa: Lax on CEDAW reporting

Regional: GBV indicators, are we there yet?

Global: 2010 Commission on Status of Women advances key issues for world’s women

Gender Resources

Gender Evangelist

Femmes Africa Solidarité has honoured the Mozambique’s President, Armando Emilio Guebeza, with its African Gender Award, for his efforts in championing wider participation of women in his government.

The award came on 4 April, just a few days before the Southern African nation celebrates its national Women’s Day on 7 April, which acknowledges efforts of women in the liberation struggle.

Guebuza became the fourth African political leader to be awarded the African Gender Award after Paul Kagame of Rwanda in 2007, and former South African President Thabo Mbeki and Senegalese President Abdoulaye Wade shared the award in 2006.

While still ranked at the bottom of the United Nations’ Human Development Index, Mozambique has produced one of the largest numbers of women in leadership positions in Africa. As of January 2010, Mozambique’s parliament comprised 39.2% women, the second highest number in Africa, and ninth highest in the world.

LuÁ­sa Dias Diogo made history when she became one of the first African women to ascend to the position of Prime Minister in 2004, a post she held until January 2010.

Under Guebuza’s leadership since the 2004 general elections, the numbers of women ministers and heads of departments have steadily increased.

Guebuza’s gender successes have not only been limited to the political sphere. He also signed into law legal instruments such domestic violence act and the anti-human trafficking act, a move to help enhance the protection of women’s rights in the country. Read more

Source: GL Opinion and Commentary Service

Source:Google images

Country Highlights











South Africa






Editor’s note

Dear colleagues,

Welcome to the 9th Edition of Roadmap to Equality! We apologise that this issue is coming to you late. You will now be recieving the enewletter on the 1st of every month instead of the 15th of every month.

The memories of the 100’s of events at the 54th Session of the Commission on the Status of Women which focused on the fifteen year review of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action are slowly fading away and what remains are the realities lived by ordinary women across the globe particularly from the global South. Poverty exacerbated by the economic recession, gender based violence, HIV and AIDS, violation of their basic rights such as property ownership, impact of climate change still haunt women.

Will the resolutions made at CSW54 on Eliminating preventable maternal mortality and morbidity through the empowerment of women; Women, the girl child and HIV and AIDS and Ending female genital mutilation (FGM) translate to change in women’s lives? How much of financial and human resources will be made available to advance the four areas of priority importance to women identified by the Commission – Maternal mortality, Violence against women, Role of women in decision-making and the new gender entity. Click here to read more about resolutions.

As reflected in stories featured in this issue, laws still discriminate against women who are still fighting for their rights. In Malawi, inheritance laws still hinder women’s access to property.

Reports of politically motivated violence against women remain top of the headlines in countries like the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Zimbabwe. Political leaders promote hate speech and make irresponsible statements. The African National Congress League President, Julius Malema is an example of this. It is heartening to note that last March the court found him guilty of hate speech against women.

Media monitoring points to the fact that women are still missing in the media as voices, journalists and owners as shown by Angola, Ghana and Kenya. This is confirmed by discussions earlier this year in this e-newsletter where media activists were lamenting the lack of implementation by States on Section J of the Beijing Platform for Action.

There is a glimmer of hope shown by a few SADC States in passing progressive legislation. For example South Africa has introduced the anti-human trafficking bill in parliament. If passed it will be the fifth country in the region after Mozambique, Zambia, Swaziland and Tanzania in line with provisions in the Southern Africa Protocol on Gender and Development which calls on States to adopt a specific law on human trafficking by 2015.

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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News highlights

New section – The SADC Gender Protocol @ Work

A new section to demonstrate how the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development is being used in the region will be added from the next issue.

In the last month:

South Africa Minister of Women, Children and Persons with Disabilities, Ms Mayende-Sibiya, in her Budget Vote speech pledged to align policy framework with the changes in institutional arrangements and coordination mechanisms. She said the “Ministry will work towards ratification of the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development and ensure the domestication of this Protocol into the revised policy. Our department collaborates with a number of international and continental bodies andn instruments that the country is signatory to.” Read the whole speech.

The forward by of the South Africa Business Women’s Association President Elect Kunyanyala Maphisa, in Business Women Association South African Women in leadership Audit of 2010, acknowledges the 2015 deadline set by the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development for a range of actions on women’s representation in all spheres of society À“ including the economic terrain. She says that urgent action is needed given that there is only five years to go.

The Executive Summary of the same report acknowledges SADC leaders commitment for gender equality by signing this Protocol and it extensively spells out provisions in Article 15 and implications for South Africa Business women. Read more

Soccer 2010: Score a goal for gender equality

On the eve of the FIFA Soccer 2010 World Cup, Gender Links (GL) and the Gender and Media Diversity Centre (GMDC) will be spearheading awareness raising campaigns, producing publications and hosting seminars around gender and 2010. In line with the SADC Gender Protocol on Gender and Development that sets 28 targets for the achievement of gender equality by 2015 and with an event of epic proportions about to land on our shores, there is no better time than 2010 to get the ball rolling! Click here to view a series of radio features that GL has produced.

Regional: A tale of two neighbours turning sixteen and thirty

By Colleen Lowe Morna

Sweet sixteen and already showing signs of strain: that is the mood that hangs over South Africa as the 27 April celebration of the first democratic elections approaches. The political shenanigans of the far right who still dream of a separate homeland for white people and far left who insist on singing the song “kill the Boer” even after the High Court ruled that this is hate speech have led the Mail and Guardian to coin the term “idiotocracy” to describe our national politics.

Next door, Zimbabwe celebrated a muted thirtieth birthday on 18 April: the country that has swung in our lifetime from bread basket of the region to a poverty stricken autocracy led by the same leader who got away with stealing an election from the opposition and calls the shots in a supposed government of national unity.

As I turn fifty next month, I cannot help but cry two beloved countries, whose destinies are inextricably linked and have shaped my life. I was born and spent the first sixteen years of my life on a United Church of Christ mission in a remote corner of south east Zimbabwe, a few kilometres as the crow flies from the Mozambique border. Read more

Source: GL Opinion and Commentary Service

South Africa: Women shut out of the labour market

South Africa has one of the highest rates in the world of unemployment for comparable middle-income countries. The latest official statistics show that by December 2009, around 4,2 million people, out of a total labour force of 17 million, were officially unemployed. Yet, this figure does not include almost two million individuals who have simply lost hope of ever finding a job. For women, the situation is nothing but drastic. Read more

Source: GL Opinion and Commentary Service

Mauritius elections, another step back for SADC women in Parliament ?

By Loga Virahsawmy

Prime Minister Dr. Navin Ramgoolam(Photo: Colleen Lowe Morna)I have never been very good at mathematics, but when I look at the number of women fielded by the Mouvement Militant Mauricien (MMM), Mauritius’ main opposition party (known as the “alliance of the heart”) for the May 6, 2010 general elections, I think I am right. Eight out of 60 does make only slightly more than 13%. Similarly, the “alliance of the future” headed by the Labour Party fielded 13 women, about 22%.

This is a big blow not only for gender activists, but also for gender democracy. It seems unlikely that Mauritius will make much progress past the island nation’s current 17% women in parliament. This kind of stagnation, and in some cases regression, is a worrying trend in Southern Africa. In Botswana’s 2009 elections, the percentage of women in Parliament slipped from 11% to 7.9%. Likewise, although exact numbers are still a bit unclear following last November’s polls, it seems that Namibia has slipped from 30.9% to about 23%. Read more

Regional: Gender Justice and Local government awards

The first ever gender justice and local government summit closed in Johannesburg on 24 March 2010 with awards to five women and four men whose work on the ground won the highest accolades from judges and participants during presentations made earlier this week.

The summit featured 103 entries from ten countries in a variety of categories including prevention, response, support, individual innovation, institutional good practices, specific GBV campaigns and innovative communication strategies.
Under the banner “score a goal for gender equality, halve gender violence by 2015À the conference brought together journalists, local government authorities, municipalities, NGOs and representatives of ministries of gender and local government.

Some quick facts:
– 103 entries, 69 by women, 34 by men in 7 categories
– Submissions from 9 countries.
– Winners from nine countries: Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mauritius, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia and Zimbabwe.
– 3 women and 2 men got special commendations.
– 6 women and 3 men are runners up
– 5 women and 4 men are winners

Click here to read more. Footage can be made available on request.

Global: Australia is first to recognise ‘non-specified’ gender

Australia may have made gender history this week, as the New South Wales government lays claim to being the first in the world to recognise an individual’s sex as officially “not specifiedÀ.This milestone in the evolution of gender queer came about with the issuing of a ‘Sex Not Specified’. Recognised Details Certificate in place of a birth certificate to Norrie (also known as norrie mAy-Welby) a resident of Sydney.

Zie (a gender-specific pronoun) is now legally recognised by the Australian government as neither male nor female, the Scavenger reports.It is the end of a long journey for Norrie, aged 48, who was born in Scotland and registered male at birth.

When zie was 23, zie commenced the process of gender re-assignment through hormone treatment and surgery. Zie was later issued with a gender recognition certificate as female in Australia.However, Norrie did not feel comfortable living solely as a female.On hir site, zie writes: “The theorists who inform transsexual and intersexual medical intervention presume that everyone has one real gender identity at the core of their being, whether or not this is congruent with their anatomy. Even children biologically hermaphrodite are supposed to be ‘really’ of one gender, with the surgically discarded sex declared the ‘false’ one. Read more
Source: AWID

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Gender-based violence

Mozambique: Judge releases traffickers in women.

A Maputo judge has released the seven people arrested earlier this month for trafficking women from Mozambique to South Africa.
The spokesperson for the general command of the Mozambican police, Pedro Cossa, told reporters on Tuesday that he had no idea on what grounds the court released the seven men against whom the police had a very solid case.
Releasing the men does not mean that the case dies – the public prosecutor’s office can press charges, but there must be a serious risk that the traffickers will now flee the country.

The seven were detained thanks to investigations by reporters from the Media24 group, which owns the Johannesburg paper “City Press”. The journalists infiltrated the crime syndicate by passing themselves off as people interested in buying Mozambican girls who would then be forced to work in the South African sex industry. Read more

South Africa: Men’s group wins equality case against powerful politician

When Mbuyiselo Botha decided to take the African National Congress League President, Julius Malema, to court for hate speech against women, he was confident from the start that the case had merit. But he also knew it was a toughest test yet in his 15 years of gender activism.
“My colleagues from back during the anti-apartheid activism days warned that I had taken a career damaging move; I was seen as challenging the black leadership,” said Botha.

Despite the discouragement and the potential of making enemies at the top, he went on with court challenge and won.
On March 15 the controversial Malema was found guilty of hate speech for he insinuating that President Jacob Zuma’s 2005 rape accuser had enjoyed the act. Read more

Related stories Equality court agrees, speech can be deadly weapon

Zimbabwe: Rape, sexual abuse Zanu PF’s poll weapons – report

By Wongai Zhangazha

ZANU PF allegedly used rape and other forms of sexual abuse against women between 2000 and 2008 as punishment for those perceived to have voted against it, a National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) report has said.
This was revealed in a report titled Fighting for a New Constitution: Human Rights Violations Experienced by Female Members of the National Constitutional Assembly (NCA) launched last week in Harare. Read more

Sexed pistols points barrels at cultures of violence

Over time, women’s rights advocates have named a host of contributing factors to violence against women. Perhaps none of these has been less explored than the proliferation and unregulated use of small arms and light weapons À“ until now. A new book, Sexed Pistols: The Gendered Impact of Small Arms and Light Weapons, explores how these weapons impact women and men differently.

Sexed Pistols, a compilation of research articles, is focused on the gendered impact of SALW in various contexts, including countries in conflict such as the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Israel, and Sierra Leone; countries where the state cannot guarantee protection for its citizens such as Haiti, Papua New Guinea and Timor-Leste and countries recovering from conflict, including Northern Ireland, South Africa and Uganda. Specifically, the book raises a number of relevant issues including the use of weapons to terrorize women, predicate sexual violence and control women in both public and private spheres. Read more

Source: AWID

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Consitutional and legal rights

Zambia: NCC adopts article on gender as part of new constitution

THE National Constitutional Conference (NCC) yesterday adopted article 88 which aims to establish the gender equality commission as part of the new Constitution. The conference also resolved that the clause should stand alone and not fall under the Bill of Rights.

During the debate in support of the adoption of the clause, Gender Deputy Minister Lucy Changwe said there was need for an autonomous body that would support and promote gender equity.

She said the gender equity commission would operate like other service commissions created under the Constitution. “There is no gender ministry in this country. What exists is only a gender division which operates under the office of the president, but we need to create an autonomous body which will support gender equity,” Ms Changwe said.

Another commissioner, Charles Milupi said there was need to create the gender equality commission to uplift the status of women and the girl-child.

He said sidelining women would hinder the country’s development process. Read more

South Africa: Anti-human trafficking bill introduced to parliament

The Department of Justice and Constitutional Development has introduced into Parliament a Bill aimed at combating human trafficking in South Africa. This is in line with the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development which calls on States to enact anti-human trafficking laws by 2015.

The Prevention and Combating of Trafficking in Persons Bill (TIP Bill) emanates from an investigation carried out by the South African Law Reform Commission (the Law Reform Commission) into the causes of trafficking in persons. The Law Reform Commission identified some of the main causes of trafficking in persons as attributable to poverty, war and political instability.

Trafficking in persons is a worldwide phenomenon and is one of the most lucrative criminal enterprises globally. People are trafficked mainly for sexual exploitation and forced labour. South Africa is a signatory to the United Nations Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in persons, especially women and children.

We are therefore required to pass domestic legislation in order to fulfill our international obligations. It therefore follows that we could not have been motivated by FIFA 2010 World Cup to pass legislation. The Bill, once it becomes an Act on Parliament and is fully operational, will be one of the most comprehensive laws in the fight against human trafficking in this country. Read more
Source: Politicsweb

Malawi: Patrilineal Inheritance Prevents Women’s Access to Land

Mercy Gondwe, 51, from Rumphi in northern Malawi, was married for 34 years. When her husband died in 2008, she assumed she would inherit the land they had been cultivating together since they got married. But this was not the case.

Gondwe’s brother-in-law took over the ownership of the land the day of the funeral, because tradition dictates that only a man has the right to own land. Gondwe and her six children, aged between eight and 20 years, have no choice but to keep living among their in-laws. The terms of the bride price Gondwe’s husband paid when they got married stipulate that a woman and her children belong to her husband and his family. Read more

Source: WomensNet

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Governance and peace building

Tanzania: Women need their own election manifesto

Tanzania is scheduled to hold both presidential and parliamentary elections in October this year – a prospect that is already galvanizing the country’s women. Recent reports from different women groups in the country say that a series of meetings are often held to sensitize women to know their rights during elections.
Tanzania Media Women Association (TAMWA) is also planning to conduct different courses for journalists, to empower them with knowledge related to election, especially voters’ education.

TAMWA is also running TV and radio spot announcements, all aimed at showing the position of women during election. The final end is one – to bring women from the back seat of the democratization process. Read more

Tanzania: Parties Must Empower Women to Contest in Elections

TANZANIA is gearing towards the Presidential, Parliamentary and Councillor elections later this year. Already there have been various activities that tell election euphoria is here.They include spots in electronic and print media that aim to mobilize people to register to vote, updating of the permanent voter register and special announcement encouraging women to take active participation in this year’s general elections.

The voter registration process has been finalised and papers readied for these important undertaking. Budget estimates indicate that the National Electoral Commission (NEC) will spend about 134bn/- for this year’s general elections.
This amount does not include money to be spent by other actors interested in the election such as the 16 registered political parties, election observers, the media, civil society organizations and individual candidates.

The exact amount to be spent cannot be easily estimated but the amount is huge, thus, there is need for a public debate on what must be the key issues if value has to be realized for this spending.
The ruling party is among the 16 registered political parties which have come out in the open and announced it is expected to fund raise about 50bn/- to finance this year’s election alone. It has gone further to explain how much this money will be spent. Read more

DRC: UN Helps Women Fight Under-Representation in Government

The United Nations is boosting the efforts of women in the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) to overcome decades of low female participation in politics and achieve their rightful role in governing the vast African country and rebuilding it after years of civil war.

“Achieving democratic governance is not possible without equal participation of men and women in decision-making processes,” UN Development Programme (UNDP) gender expert Marie Bapu told the first national conference of Congolese women which concluded in Kinshasa, the capital, yesterday.

This implies “a good definition of public policies and the establishment of laws and programmes for the encouragement and achievement of equality,” she said.
The conference was organized by the Congolese Women’s League for Elections in collaboration with the UN, the Government, and the Open Society Initiative for Southern Africa. Read more

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Economic justice, education and training

Angola: Draft law on betterment of rural women wellbeing presented

A draft law called “Integration of a discussion of betterment of life in the Micro-Credit Programmes”, that aims to improve social and economic well-being, mainly for rural zone women through funding, counselling and guiding plans, was presented Tuesday, in Luanda.

Speaking to Angop, the department chief of Family Support of the Ministry of Family and Women’s Promotion (Minfamu), Santa Ernesto, said that this is the result of a three-month training she attended in Japan, promoted by the International Cooperation Agency of that country.

Santa Ernesto explained that this is the third phase of the plan that can be changed while being done by national technicians of public and private institutions, in order to be sent for evaluation in Japan, the country that will support part of the project.

According to the source, the project will be implemented for the first time in Kikombo, Sumbe district, Kwanza Sul province, and will cover people of that region, mainly women. Read more

Source: AngolaPress

Global: World Banks says gender inequality still rampant globally

Gender inequality remains rampant globally, with only 20 out of 128 economies reported to have equal legal rights for men and women in key issues for entrepreneurs and workers, a new World Bank report on Women, Business and the Law 2010 has shown. The report states that inequality occurs across all regions and income levels. But many economies have been legislating to reduce these inequalities. The new report looks at legal equity in such areas as a woman’s ability to register a business, own and use property, and go to court on her own account.

“Many factors shape women’s opportunities to run successful businesses and get good jobs. Equitable business regulations are one piece of the puzzle,” she said.
Women, Business and the Law 2010 analyzes differences in formal laws and institutions affecting women’s prospects as entrepreneurs and employees across six topics accessing institutions, using property, getting a job, dealing with taxes, building credit, and going to court.

The report is the first to measure the gender gap in policy variables using quantitative and objective data. It does not measure all aspects that matter for women’s economic opportunities. For example, it does not measure access to childcare, education, or personal security. Read more

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Health, HIV and AIDS

South Africa: Treatment first, case number later

Rape victims will no longer need a case number before getting treatment at health institutions said Health Minister, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi. Motsoaledi said when a rape victim arrives at a health institution, they won’t be asked to produce a case number before being treated. Read more Source: BuaNews

South Africa: The President and HIV prevention
The Treatment Action Campaign (TAC) welcomes the implementation of the updated HIV treatment guidelines that were recently published by the South African National AIDS Council. The updated guidelines came into effect on 1 April 2010. The guidelines are available on the SANAC website at updated guidelines adopt some of the recent recommendations made by the World Health Organization (WHO). Read more Source: NGOPulse

Related stories:South Africa committed to achieving universal access to ART

UNAIDS launches plan to empower women and girls to prevent HIV

The lead United Nations agency tackling the AIDS epidemic, along with rock and roll icon Annie Lennox, launched an action plan to empower women and girls to protect themselves against HIV.

Known as the Agenda for Accelerated Country Action for Women, Girls, Gender Equality and HIV (2010-2014), the five-year plan partners the UN with governments, civil society and development partners to address gender inequalities and human rights violations that put women and girls at risk for HIV infection.
“The operational plan that we are launching this morning has been needed for some time now,À Deputy Secretary-General Asha-Rose Migiro said today at a meeting on women and HIV.

“For too long, the inequalities that affect women and girls have made them more vulnerable to HIV. For too long, societies have been unable À“ or unwilling À“ to talk about these inequalities as drivers of the epidemic. For much too long, cohesive action to address these inequalities have been lacking,À she stated. Read more

Source: UNAIDS

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Media, information and communications

Angola: Journalists told to pay greater attention to gender violence

Journalists and the society in general should be able to deal with matters linked to gender, the victims and authors, on Monday here defended the deputy minister of Mass Media, Manuel Miguel de Carvalho, Angop has learnt.
Speaking to press at the opening of a seminar on violence in society, the official said the main goal is to sensitize the society, especially journalists, to fight against this phenomenon.

In a general way, he said an act of violence takes place in a situation of interaction, when one or various authors act in a direct or indirect way, causing damages to others, being in their physical or moral integration, in their possession or symbolic and cultural participations.
“As it is a great concern of the Angolan society, the Ministry of Social Communication, through centre for training of journalists (Cefojor), in partnership with the association of women working in law career, decided to hold this meeting in order to find out ways of preventing and act against this violence”, the official said. Read more

Kenya: Wanted À“ More females in our newsrooms

The Nation Media Group’s 50th birthday bash, which was celebrated during the Pan Africa Media Conference this month, was undoubtedly one of the most high profile media events I have attended in recent months.

Participants got to hear the thoughts and opinions of some of the most celebrated politicians, media personalities, businesspeople, scholars, journalists and activists on the continent, including Rwanda’ President Paul Kagame, Kenya’s Nobel laureate Wangari Maathai, Sudanese tycoon Mo Ibrahim, not to mention the top brass at the Nation Media Group, which was represented by none other than His Highness the Aga Khan. Even rock star Bono made an appearance.

But as I listened to speaker after speaker talking about issues, such as the role of the media in promoting democracy in Africa and how Africa’s image has been shaped by the local and international media, I kept wondering why there were hardly any women on the various panels and high-profile events. Although a significant number of participants at the conference were female, the keynote speakers, moderators and panelists were predominantly male.

I am not one of those people who believe that women should be represented equally in such events just for the sake of it. Affirmative action in favour of women and in the interest of gender balance is sometimes necessary, but when it is done for cosmetic or politically-correct reasons, it can backfire on all women. Read more

Ghana: Media devote minimal space to gender issues

A recent study on the Ghanaian media’s coverage of gender issues has revealed that out of a total 6053 issues in news editorials, only 1.6% (96 editorial frequency) were given to women, compared to issues on children which rated 2% (126 editorial frequency) and the youth 1.9% (115 editorial frequency).
The study titled “Gender Equality Contesting Media Spaces: The Coverage of Gender in the Ghanaian Media” measured the overall editorial focus or attention to issues on women from the year 2005 to 2009.

A breakdown shows that in 2009, attention on gender coverage dropped to 4%, from a consistent representation of 7% recorded in 2006, 2007 and 2008 , indicating a 3% decline in projection of gender issues by news editors.
Out of 881 news editorials recorded in the year 2005, 0.3% focused on women, 0.2% on the youth while 0.4% was on children, constituting 1% of the total number of issues raised by news editors on gender.

According to researchers the purpose of this study was to examine how the Ghanaian media covered general gender issues and other non-gender news content based on newspaper editorials by selected media from 2005 – 2009.
It is hoped results would sharpen civic engagement processes towards gender – media representations and would help policy makers to specifically engage the media as a tool for promoting gender equality for effective good governance in Ghana. Read more
Source: Ghanaweb

Tanzania: Awareness campaign on women’s rights gets boost

Legal and Human Rights Centre (LHRC) has embarked on an awareness campaign that aims to give women an insight on their rights.

This was said during the launch of a book titled; “Tafsiri ya Kiswahili ya Mkataba wa Nyongeza wa Haki za Wanawake Afrika,À which is a translation of the Maputo Protocol that guarantees comprehensive rights to women, including the right to take part in the political process.

The Maputo protocol also offers social and political equality with men, to control of their reproductive health and an end to Female Genital Mutilation (FGM).
LHRC Acting Executive Director, Ms Imelda Urrio said that the centre would distribute the book to libraries in universities, schools and to other non-governmental organizations in the country.

Ms Urio said the translation of the book is aimed to enable people, especially women, to know their rights so that they can fight for them. Read more
Source: Tanzania Daily News

Tanzania: Women, pupils to be trained in Land, Marriage Act

A total of one hundred women and primary school pupils in Kibaha town, Coast region have started undergoing a five day seminar on the Land Ownership and Marriage Act for the women to enable them to know their basic rights.

The training coordinator of a non-organisation, Kibaha Paralegal Centre (KPC), Mr Mohamed Kiaratu said here today that the seminar which is financed by the Foundation for Civil Society (FCS), would also involve other people including religious leaders, street chairmen, Ward Executive Officers (WEOs), divisional officer and elders.

The coordinator said that the participants who will come from five wards of Tumbi, Mkuza, Kongowe, Misugusugu and Pangani in the town would learn land ownership in accordance with village land act number five and urban land act number four of 1999. Read more Source: Tanzania Daily News

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Integrated Approaches/Monitoring and Evaluation

Website to Serve As Global Hub for Ending Gender Based Violence

UNIFEM has recently launched a Website that uses comprehensive interactive training tools and resources to empower and inform individuals about gender-based violence. The Global Virtual Knowledge Centre contains a number of informational sections on issues such as prevention, policy and legislation to empower and educate the user on the issue of gender based violence.

The module Men&Boys, for example, was developed in conjunction with an organization called MenEngage, which is a global alliance of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and UN agencies that engage boys and men in achieving gender equality.

Modern tools and resources are important now more than ever as, according to UNIFEM, up to 70 per cent of women have still experienced some form of physical or sexual abuse over their lifetime. The Global Virtual Knowledge Center will essentially act as an accessible online resource where activists, victims, researchers, NGO’s and policy-makers can learn from one another’s diverse experiences on the issue and use systematic approaches to working towards ending violence against women and girls. Read more

Africa: Lax on CEDAW reporting

African countries, known for their penchant to ratify international conventions and other instruments, are not doing well when it comes to providing periodical reports on progress made in implementing the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). Read more Source: GL Opinion and COmmentary Service

Global: 2010 Commission on Status of Women (CSW) advances key issues for world’s women.

For more than 3,500 civil society representatives and hundreds of government delegates who travelled, often long distances, to New York for this year’s Commission on the Status of Women (CSW), was an occasion to mark large and small victories over the last 15 years and to focus on the challenges that remain.
The Commission discussed the following four areas of priority importance to women:
– Maternal mortality
– Violence against women
– Role of women in decision-making
– New gender entity

Maternal mortality The Millennium Development Goal to improve maternal health À“ and the affiliated target of reducing the rate of maternal mortality by three-quarters À“ has been the most elusive target of all. The lack of decisive progress is matched by a lack of reliable statistics, and a failure to attract large-scale support. The selection of this issue as the “top priorityÀ of the host country, Canada, for the G8 meeting in June, there is reason to believe that the imperative to save mothers’ and infants’ lives will gain added momentum over the remaining five years of the drive to reach the MDGs by 2015.

Violence against women
Violence against women is a pandemic behind closed doors À“ it is calculated that up to 70 per cent of women experience violence in their lifetime. It not only inflicts personal suffering, but also “undermines development, generates instability, and makes peace in society much harder to achieve,À as noted by the Secretary-General at a panel discussion in a panel. In the meantime, action on the Secretary-General’s UNiTE to End Violence against Women campaign has moved to the regional and national levels, with particular emphasis on the first of the campaign’s five goals À“ the adoption and implementation of national laws on violence against women.

Role of women in decision-making
An Inter-Parliamentary Union survey found that women comprise 18.8 per cent of members of parliament worldwide À“ an all-time high, although this falls short of the 30 per cent target advocated in Beijing.
Rachel Mayanja, the Secretary-General’s Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women, describes the representation of women in parliaments as “an accountability issue.À She finds that countries where women are under-represented in government tend to be “less inclusive, less egalitarian and less democratic.À Under-representation in decision-making positions can be self-perpetuating, in that it limits the incorporation of gender perspectives into policies. “History has taught us that any peace not built by and for women is far less likely to deliver real and lasting benefits,À said US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, speaking at the Commission 15 years after her seminal address to the Women’s Conference in Beijing.

New gender entity
The General Assembly adopted a resolution late last year paving the way for the creation of a new UN body for gender equality and the advancement of women, and Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has submitted his proposals for the entity to the General Assembly for their consideration.
The importance of moving ahead with the creation of this new entity repeatedly and emphatically highlighted throughout the Commission’s 15-year review session. His plan would merge four separate UN units with differing mandates:
– the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women (OSAGI);
– the Division for the Advancement of Women in the Department for Economic and Social Affairs (DAW/DESA); the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM); and,
– the United Nations International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW).

There has been strong support for the creation of a unified body that would strengthen the participation of women in international affairs and give the UN a stronger mandate on women’s issues. However, different strategic approaches have emerged from the discussion of this issue. Some Member States stress gender equality, ensuring full rights and legal protection. Many from the developing world place more emphasis on “advancement,À entailing a strong pro-women development agenda.

Source: UN in focus

Read more about CSW54 Daily Links – a daily newspaper published at CSW 54 by Gender Links working with Africa Women and Child Feature Service.

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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

Global averages of women in political decision making. These figures are from the combined houses in parliament, that is the upper house and lower house as of 28 February 2010. Source: Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU)

Nordic countries 42.1%
Americas 22.1%
Europe – OSCE member countries
including Nordic countries 21.4%
Europe – OSCE member countries
excluding Nordic countries 19.9%
Asia 18.5%
Sub-Saharan Africa 18.8%
Pacific 15.3%
Arab States 9.5%

  • South Africa

3 May 2010
18h00 – 20h30 World Press Freedom Day Seminar: Gender, communitry, media and Soccer 2010 Seminar,
Gender Links Offices, 9 Derrick Avenue, Cyrildene, Johannesburg Contact:

· South Africa

World Press Freedom day celebration, Media and civil society, 3 May 2010, CIVICUS House, Indaba room

  • South Africa

11-12 May 2010 Africa Wide Campaign to end Violence against Women and Girls; Regional Consultative Meeting, Johannesburg Contact:


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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Download : Roadmap to Equality, Issue 9
Download : Roadmap to Equality, Issue 9

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