SADC is the only region in the world with a legally binding omnibus instrument for achieving gender equality in the form of the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development. Through pushing the boundaries of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and setting targets in such areas as Gender Based Violence and the media, the SADC region is at the forefront of going beyond minimum standards in the post 2015 agenda.

As a result of the Protocol, the region has made strides in gender mainstreaming in the education, health and economic empowerment. The region has reviewed Constitutions and built capacity for gender responsive budgeting.

However, the 2015 SADC Gender Protocol Barometer that measures progress in the attainment of gender equality in the region found that using both the empirical SADC Gender and Development Index and SADC Citizen Score Card, an “ordinary people” perception score, the region is only 67 to 68% of where is needs to be by this year.

Reviewing the targets against the agreed 17 goals and 169 indicators of the SDG’s, the Alliance found that the Protocol needs to be bolder and more specific in a number of areas. Target five of the SDG’s on gender equality goes much further than its predecessor MDG 3.  The global agenda includes GBV, has a number of economic indicators (including the unwaged work of women); goes beyond numbers in women’s political participation through provisions for “effective” leadership and pushes some boundaries on reproductive health and rights.

On the other hand, the SDG’s are thin on gender, media and ICT’s, sparking an outcry by the Global Alliance on Media and Gender, chaired by Gender Links, that also hosts the Secretariat of the Alliance.

The 2014 Barometer identified 150 possible gender targets accompanied by 300 indicators; 100 of these concerning gender violence.

The Southern African Gender Protocol Alliance (the Alliance) has worked tirelessly to canvass the Post 2015 agenda through its 15 country networks as well as influence the global agenda, where this work has been acknowledged by the UN.

Alliance proposed targets and indicators

Technical note on the review of the SADC Gender Protocol

What is the UN’s post-2015 development agenda – read more.



CSW 60
Adopted in 2008, the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development is a sub-regional roadmap that went beyond the requirements of the Millennium Development Goals (MDG’s). Now SADC citizens are demanding that the region stay ahead of global trends by reviewing the Gender Protocol in 2015 and aligning it to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDG’s). The Southern African Gender Protocol Alliance is using the experience of the region to demand gender indicators in all the SDG’s. Read more The Global Alliance on Media and Gender (GAMAG) bemoans the absence of a stand-alone goal on Media, freedom of expression and ICTs (Information and Communication Technologies) in the draft post 2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). GAMAG calls on the UN to strengthen the language of goals 9 and 16 which refer to media and ICTs to include a gender responsive monitoring framework and to take into account the rise in cyber violence and gender violence in cyber space. Read more From 14 to 24 March, governments, civil society and gender activists converged at the UN in New York to attend the 60th session of the Commission on the Status of Women (CSW59). On 24  March, 6.15pm Gender Links and the SGPA  hosted a side event to discuss the development of a gender responsive implementation framework for the post 2015 agenda and the importance of strong indicators and targets. Read more
Press Release

Southern Africa: Alliance calls for review of gender protocol as deadline looms

Call to Action

GAMAG Gender, Media, ICTs and the post-2015 agenda position paper

See minutes from the last meeting and other related documents.

Press Release

Southern Africa: Calling for gender and media provisions in the sustainable development goals