Constitutional and Legal Rights – SADC Gender Barometer


SADC Gender Protocol Barometer 2016
Chapter 1
Southern Africa, August 2016



Constitutional and legal rights provide the foundation for a rights-based approach to achieving gender equality. The chapter highlights progress made in the last year based on the original Protocol. The revised Protocol has strengthened rights language, especially in relation tochild marriages, and other harmful practices, but avoided being too prescriptive on sensitive subjects like custom and culture. Progress is measured against the original Protocol, with new developments highlighted in relevant sections of the chapter. The revised Protocol will be used for updating indicators in future research.

Some key points:

  • Citizens rated their governments 71% (up from 66% in 2015) on Constitutional and Legal Rights using the
    Citizen Score Card (CSC) that gauges citizen perceptions of progress made thus far. Mozambique scored the
    highest and Tanzania the lowest.
  • The Post-2015 SADC Gender Protocol strengthens rights-based approaches to achieving gender equality, especially child marriages. SADC has adopted a model law on ending Child Marriages. In a landmark ruling, Zimbabwe’s Constitutional Court has outlawed child marriages
  • Three countries in the region – South Africa, DRC and Mozambique – have decriminalised
    homosexuality. Botswana has legally registered its first LGBTI organisation.

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