GL is well known for championing the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development, and coordinating an Alliance of over 40 women’s NGOs that campaigned for the adoption and implementation of the Protocol, following its  2016 revision that was adopted by the SADC 36th Summit of Heads of State and Government in Mbabane, Swaziland. The revised SADC Protocol on Gender and Development is  aligned to the  Sustainable Development Goal (SDG), the Beijing Declaration and its Platform of Action, The Maputo Protocol  and the Agenda 2063 among other gender norms and standards.

GL cascades the targets of the Protocol into its Programmes; Alliance and Partnerships, Gender Justice and Governance, Media and Communications, with Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights and Economic Justice as cross-cutting themes.

GL is globally well known for its cutting edge work on gender and the media, that has included seminal research studies; work with 100 Centres of Excellence for Gender in the Media, and seven COEs for Gender in Media Education. GL has also has spearheaded the campaign to integrate the targets of the Protocol into the work of 425 Centres of Excellence for Gender in Local Government.

The Alliance and Partnerships Programme promotes and strengthens advocacy for the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development using the Alliance networks at both regional and national levels. The  programme also develops the capacity of the Alliance members to effectively undertake their mandate at national and local levels to advance the implementation of the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development.

The Gender Justice and Governance Programme: promotes gender equality and responsive local governance in Southern Africa.  The programme builds gender responsive governance at the local government level through identifying specific gender programmes such as 50:50 campaigns for equal representation of women in political leadership and other decision making positions, ending Gender Based Violence (GBV), and  improving Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR). The Governance programme has reached 443 COEs in SADC. The councils cover a population of 42 million people or 43% of the population in the ten countries.

GL has carried out baseline surveys on prevalence and perpetration of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in six countries (Botswana, Mauritius, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho and South Africa) which revealed that high incidence of GBV is caused by low SRHR awareness and limited SRHR policy provisions at national level. Through these indicators for measuring gender violence, GL has pioneered a tested methodology of measuring GBV. To influence change at a policy level and in the public sphere, GL began to work with countries in the SADC region to extend the Sixteen Days to a 365 Day National Action Plan strategy to end gender violence. GL has cascaded these GBV action plans to the local level through the COEs to make the case that we can end violence by working community by community.

As part of the related end violence, empower women, campaign,  GL began pioneering work on entrepreneurship training with 1500 of survivors of gender violence supported by 100 COE’s in 2013. A review of the pilot project shows the potential for reversing the vicious cycle from poverty and disempowerment to agency and justice.

On SRHR, GL has cascaded the #VoiceandChoice SRHR campaigns across the SADC region  on menstrual health, child marriages, SRHR services access, HIV and AIDS, Gender Based Violence, safe abortion.GL promotes youth led SRHR interventions at the local government level and within the Alliance through capacity  building of Alliance networks, local government and youth groups on SRHR.