Regional: SADC Gender Unit develops strategy for implementing the 50/50 framework

Regional: SADC Gender Unit develops strategy for implementing the 50/50 framework

Date: October 11, 2012
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The SADC Gender Unit recently developed a roadmap for implementing the 50/50 framework.

The strategy was finalised at a regional workshop in April 2012 in Johannesburg and aims to effectively utilise elements of the framework in preparation for upcoming local authority and parliamentary (national) elections in all SADC member states. The end goal is to ensure states attain gender parity by 2015 and maintain gains beyond 2015. National parliamentarians attended the workshop along with members of national gender organisations; parliamentarians; members of civil society and international cooperating partners.

Empirical data shows that there is a need to facilitate women’s entry into politics and decision-making and to strengthen their capacity to take up leadership positions at all levels.

The 50/50 framework provides guidelines to strengthen the implementation of the gender parity provision as outlined in Articles 5, 12 and 13 of the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development. It also proposes strategies to translate the expressed commitments for equality and equity in representation and participation by women and men into actions state parties should undertake to ensure that by 2015, at least 50% of all decision-making positions will be held by women.

The framework identifies key issues around developing these guidelines, these include: culture and patriarchal systems; gender inequality; socio-economic development of women; institutional capacity building; strengthening women’s capacity; and partnerships and building commitment. The framework outlines proposed actions to be taken by governments; the private sector; political parties; and civil society organisations. It also sets out national implementation guidelines.

The SADC Gender Unit hopes each member state will extract components from these guidelines that are relevant in a national context. The national guidelines should then be viewed as a roadmap that includes a nationwide buy-in process with clear resource mobilisation actions and the inclusion of training of implementing agencies. The SADC Gender Unit translated the framework into all SADC official languages. It has been printed and distributed to all member states.

The framework states that strategies should include the creation of an enabling environment for women to access political structures. This includes ensuring that SADC member states adopt special measures to facilitate women’s smooth entry into politics and decision-making positions. This could be in the form of quota systems; affirmative action provisions; and the establishment of regional networks where women decision-makers can share information, experiences and good practices.

The SADC Gender Unit envisages that country stakeholders will develop national roadmaps with concrete actions for how to implement the Gender Parity Framework between 2012 and upcoming national parliamentary and local authority elections. This will involve:

  • Finalising and preparing advocacy and lobbying initiatives for the implementation of the roadmap to ensure gender parity by 2015 at all levels of decision-making.
  • Sharing experiences and good practices with other member states to accelerate the achievement of gender parity by 2015.



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