The collection of articles in Finding Gender in the MDGs. Southern Africa makes the links shows how unless, women are able to exercise their human rights freely, in societies in which they are equal, true development will not take place. The book argues that the narrow, time-bound goals that are matched with 18 targets and 48 indicators are located within a framework that does not recognise women’s rights as a development goal. As such, as illustrated by the contributions, the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) are not informed by a rights-based approach and there are concerns that women’s strategic gender concerns are being sacrificed.
The 10 chapters are based on the 10 key areas for advancing gender equality identified in a recent audit of the SADC Declaration on Gender and Development. Each chapter begins with a summary of the findings of the regional audit and includes an expert opinion article on the theme as well as another written from a more personal perspective. The articles clearly illustrate that unless gender is centrally located across all of the MDGs, they will have no meaning for women.
The book is a must read for those working on gender and development in Southern Africa and in the global South more broadly.