Gender Linked, Issue 9, May 2010

Date: November 11, 2010
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“You must learn day by day, year by year, to broaden your horizon. The more things you love, the more you are interested in, the more you enjoy, the more you are indignant about, the more you have left when anything happens.”
Ethel Barrymore

Issue  9 |  May 2010
Table of Contents
»Words from the Editor
» Botswana Office
» Mauritius Office
»Team Work & Dream Work
» Programmes Updates
» Wellbeing Section

»    Birthdays

»  Key Dates
» Laugh Out Loud
Programme  Updates

Gender & Governance

‘Work never betrays the worker’    
À“ Dr Muna Ndulo  

April 2010
A lot of thought has gone into how effective the gender and GBV action plans process has been and a need was identified to perhaps change direction, i.e. take one step back and possibly work more closely with the councils who now have action plans and see what kind of on job training and support we can offer councils to ensure that their plans are institutionalised and implemented. So we will now be following a five stage process, these five steps include:
–   hosting meetings with management teams of councils
–    doing situational analyses of where councils are with regards to gender mainstreaming
–    host council level policy and implementation workshops
–    do backstopping and follow up and then finally works towards 16 Days and the gender justice and local government summit and awards
–    to ensure that we reach our ultimate goal of having council level centres of excellence.

Highlights from the month of April
Positive feedback was received post the gender justice and local government summit; we are still weekly receiving thank you notes.
There have been very positive meetings held, especially in SA, around the new process of council level policy and implementation workshops. Speakers, municipal managers, etc have all committed to the process.
Country updates
Botswana, Lesotho, Madagascar, Mauritius, Namibia, South Africa, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe
(Click here to read updates)

The Time Is Now – F Tembatemba

Where are the women?
Zambia signed the SADC protocols in August 2008, and it was the first country in the region to ratify the Protocols.   The big question is how much commitment and political will has the government put in to ensure that as a country we   meet all the 28 targets by 2015?
(Click here to read more)

Some sharing from an ex colleague, Lulu Bayi

Achieving your productivity À“ with Dr John Tibane
Pareto’s law [80 À“ 20 RULE]
Archimedes Principle
(Click her to read more)

The GBV Indicators Project
By:   Nwabisa Shama Jama & Angelica Pino

The fieldwork for the Prevalence Survey commenced on the 6th April 2010. This has been a phenomenal experience for both the research manager, the management and the research assistants. The most challenging parts to the work involve the administration that can take some time as a triangulation of facts and documents is required in order to ensure we have obtained the data.

Secondly, we unfortunately lost a few questionnaires due to technical problems when uploading new questionnaires. Our consultant, Carl Fourie, came back to train the research team on how to ensure that our data is saved properly. As a result we have had the opportunity to check the data that has been collected so far: 250 interviews collected to date!

This research is also a reminder to the team that GBV is a very sensitive and prevalent issue. The female research assistants are in most need of debriefing as it appears that they have opened a gate of floods, as the respondents are pouring out very traumatizing and even ugly stories based on their experience. This highlights the need for counseling for us the research team and our respondents. The processes for ensuring these occur are in place and the first counseling session was held on the 22 April 2010.

Fundraising for the GBV indicators project has become a priority, as the main donor could not fulfill   its original   commitment due to cuts in government funding. This has put the project under severe stress. Fortunately, Irish Aid has come on board and has pledge funds  for the Gauteng leg of the project. Furthermore, Irish Aid has put Gender Links in touch with the Limpopo Department of Health and Social Development (LDoHSD). The Department, through an independent institution which will provide consultancy services, is planning to conduct a study in the Limpopo province aimed at establishing the extent of violence and assess attitudes and beliefs that perpetuate gender based.

We welcome Mercy Machisa, a new intern in the Justice Programme.  She is studying for a   MSc in Epidemiology and Biostatistics at the University of the Witwatersrand.    She will be involved in the Gauteng Household Survey and the Political Discourse Analysis of the GBV Indicators project.

Wellbeing  Programme

In Johannesburg we had the pleasure of having GL Board Deputy Chairperson, Scholastica Kimaryo, make a presentation on Happiness:   Understanding Yourself.  

She showed a dvd by Chopra before opening the flow for discussion.   We enjoyed a rich discussion. Ms Kimaryo will be supporting the development of Gender Links Wellbeing Programme.  

Johannesburg office has completed its’ plan for period May-July.   We encourage Satellite offices and Country Facilitators to submit their Wellbeing programmes for incorporation into the institutional plan.

Editorial  Team
Abigail  Jacobs-Williams
Jennifer Elle Lewis
Loga Virahsawmy
Mukayi Makaya
Roos van Dorp


Words from the Editor

Hello everybody!
I hope you enjoyed your Worker’s Day holiday on the 1st of May ~ a day set aside to celebrate the social and economic achievements of workers ~  you and I.    The day is characterised  by organised street demonstrations and street matches by millions of working people and their labour    unions.    In South Africa the day was celebrated under the theme “Working together to create jobs and fight poverty”.  

I also would like to  pay tribute to all every women out there and especially you, reading this bulletin.   As 9 May 2010 commemorates Mother’s Day, it is the day when you acknowledge your mothers contribution in your life and pay a tribute to her, often with flowers and gifts. So, Happy Mother’s Day to every women out there.    

A Mother’s Love
Your arms were always open when I needed a hug. Your heart understood when I needed a friend. Your gentle eyes were stern when I needed a lesson. Your strength and love has guided me and gave me wings to fly.                
Sarah Malin

Now that we have completed the “planningÀ for this current quarter ending 30 June, we are all way into “implementationÀ and working through our May schedule will be indeed be exciting.   May activities to look forward to include the National Community Radio Forum Gender Policies Inception workshop.

This will be held at Gender Links on 3 May, participants will be drawn from community radios in the nine provinces.    This will lead into a seminar Gender, Community Media and Soccer 2010 marking World Press Freedom Day.   Our reader based in Johannesburg are cordially invited to attend the seminar at Gender Links Office from 18h00 on 3 May.  

Gender Links is proud to announce the launch of the  Radio Programmes and Audio Resources  designed to help provide a medium for voices from across the region to speak out on gender issues. –   these resources are available to radio stations who want to improve their coverage of gender issues.  To  enquire about future programmes, please contact

After a few set backs, we are all relieved that the Gender and Media Progress Study is now back on track.   Good team work and synergy was demonstrated during the challenging periods of this project.   The Gender Based Violence research project also experienced some set backs, but is now underway, again thanks to good team spirit.  

During this recent period, we have learnt the importance and value of teamwork.   Another significant lesson has been that “thingsÀ will go wrong, but it’s not the end of the world, as a team, we pick up the pieces and move on!

We hope you enjoy reading this edition, and again invite you to contribute and comment on our newsletter to

Happy reading…

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Satellite Office News

Botswana Office Updates

Dumela!   le kae?

Press Briefing on Gender Justice & Local Government Summit

After returning safely to Botswana from Gender Justice and Local Government Summit in Johannesburg, the Botswanaoffice held a press briefing for all media and partner organizations to brief them on the activities and performanceof the Botswana delegation. Whilst the coordinator of the Botswana office informed the meeting on the objectives ofthe summit, BALA Project manager Mrs. Matshameko underlined the importance of initiatives like the summit and theinvolvement of local authorities, as they work close with the communities. Dr. Maude Dikobe from the University of Botswana, who was one of the judges at the summit, shared the outcomes of the summit and how the different projects were judged. She shared that the competition was tough and even though Botswana did not win in any of the categories, everyone was impressed by the initiatives that were presented and had made Botswana proud.

The participants also presented their projects in brief to the media so they were well informed on what was presented at the summit and to learn more about the activities. The press briefing was covered by different media including Botswana Television for the national news bulletin.

Gender & Local government workshops continue
In Botswana the Gender and Local government workshops are continuing this coming month in Lobatse Town Council, Kgatleng District council and Jwaneng Town council. The workshops will sensitize the councilors and officials of the respective councils on gender issues and Gender Links will assist them in developing action plan to incorporate gender in their daily activities.

Team Building
The Botswana office staff had a chance to unwind after a busy period at their quarterly lunch, which was held at Embassy Indian Restaurant in Gaborone on the 15th of April 2010. The staff members enjoyed a nice meal and felt revitalized to start the new exiting period ahead!

Mauritius Office Updates
Un grand bonjour a tous! Comment allez-vous?

Women in Politics Forum
Loga Virahsawmy, Mary Coopan and Carla Prayag   attended a Forum by Women In Networking in the evening of Thursday 8th April 2010 on “General Elections 2010 Gender and Democracy: why women won’t wait any moreÀ. The speakers for this forum were Roukaya Kasenally, Senior Lecturer of Political Studies at the University of Mauritius, Honita Cowaloossur, a student of political science, Paula Atchia, from Women In Politics and Jean Claude de l’Estrac, editorialist. The debate opened up after the main speakers had given their opinion of the role of women in the coming elections. Loga highlighted that Gender Links has done training and WIN has done petition and billboards, it does not seem that there will be many women candidates. She talked about   future strategies to get political leaders committed on quotas to put the wrongs right. “Disguised quota already exists with the best loser systemÀ she said. She said now is the time to get political leaders committed to put more women for Local Government. “This is where we can have more women and this is where women do make a huge difference.À

Gender Links in the news
L Virahsawmy spoke on Radio One in the morning of the 12th of April on a special program concerning politics.   This interview was also published in L’Express newspaper on the 14th of April.   She was also invited to give her views on sexist language of a politician on Top FM. Her views were aired twice on radio during mainstream news. An article written by Loga on Women and Politics   appeared in Le Journal du Samedi and on La Voix Creol.

Press Conference
Satellite Office held a press conference on Thursday 15th April at the Municipality of Beau Bassin/Rose-Hill. This press conference was a follow up of the Summit and most of the participants from the Mauritian delegation were present. All participants talked about their experience at the Summit and expressed their gratitude to the GL team for this experience. Saskia Virahawmy-Naidoo and Jagdish Sanhye also bought their prize to show to those present. This was also an opportunity to put forward the hard work that they all put in their different organizations as well as highlight the importance and success of the work GL does in the region.

Team Building
At long last Satellite Office had its first Wellness walk. On Sunday 17th April, the Mauritius SO dedicated a whole day to wellness! We all went to Domaine de L’Etoile which is a beautiful area near the south of the island. Friends and family joined us for a lovely two hour walk in the hills, each of us picking wild fruits “goyaves de chineÀ along the way! Those in white were slightly weary as the guide mentioned that deer might chase them (maybe it was a joke?!). Lunch was provided in the package. We enjoyed beautiful Mauritian curries and delicacies. It was a great day and we felt rejuvenated and ready for a week hard work ahead including the organisation of   workshop.        

Gender, Media, Elections and Civil Society Workshop
The Gender, Media and Elections workshop was held on   Thursday 22nd April at the Gold Crest Hotel. It was in the context of the May 5th General Elections. Over 20 participants from civil society, NGOs, Trade Unions and the media fully participated in the workshop which was the first of its kind in Mauritius.
A Mauritian training manual as well as fact sheet on women in politics were published and used at this workshop. The SADC Protocol was discuss. Participants showed lots of interest in the video “At the CoalfaceÀ and wanted copies.   We explained and discussed the role of the media and women in politics, how to engage with the media, how to plan for a press conference and how do a press release, how to read the newspapers with a gender lens etc. The participants were very much involved in the workshop and were especially interactive for the segment on election forecasting whereby the participants had to do an estimation of how many women they thought would be elected. We used a big map of Mauritius with was divided into the different constituencies and the participants had to go pin in the candidates from the two main parties into the different constituencies.

A very animated discussion followed and participants agreed there might be a maximum of 13 women candidates who will be elected on a total of 21. Some of them even said that Mauritius will go down with less than 17%. Participants could not stop thanking Gender Links for this unique experience.

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Laugh Out Loud!!!!

Here is one on Zimbabwe! no offence (joke is on me too, I’m Zimbabwean!)

An English-person, and French-person and a World Ban Economist are viewing a painting of Adam and Eve frolicking in the Garden of Eden.   “Look at their reserve, their calm,À muses the English-person.   “They must be English!À  “Nonsense,À says the French-person.   “They are both naked and beautiful.   They must be French!À   ” You are both wrong,À says the World Bank economist.   “They have no clothes and no shelter.   They have only an apples to eat and
they’re being told they’re in Paradise.   Clearly, they are Zimbabweans!À  


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Team Work &
Dream Work!

In our endevour to acknowledge each other, and the contributions we all make to fulfill GL mission and vision, we have added this new column ~ Team Work & Dream Work!.  

It is  important that we affirm each other, and  thefore invite you all to contribute to this column.   This is what our Executive Director had to say by way of  kick-starting  the column:-

Gender &  Media Progress Study
By Colleen Lowe Morna

The Executive Director would like to thank all of you who have taken time out of your busy work to assist with the various crises we have faced with the Gender and Media Progress Study, GL’s most extensive research project to date, and a defining moment in our media work. It has in some way involved all of us, at head office and in field/satellite offices, especially in light of the manager of the project leaving mid stream.

Loga Virahsawny pulled out of the March programme to redo the Seychelles monitoring. Ialfine Tracoulat changed her return date to redo large parts of the Madagascar monitoring.

Jabu Ndzingane and Mpho Mankimane assisted with gaps in Swaziland and Lesotho. Sarry Xoagus had to organise a workshop in Namibia after several of her monitors let her down.

Loveness Jambaya, Abby Jacobs Williams and Ntombi Mbadlanyana were called in to help when it surfaced that there were large gaps in the South African monitoring. Even though she struggles with reading Afrikaans Ntombi has put in her al to help.

Mukayi Makaya and Baba Elias helped retrieve the Star newspaper in the homes of one of the offsite monitors. Kubi Rama and Gladness Muzirwa helped source newspapers that had not been monitored.  

Our interns have been great: Emsie Erastus went back to Namibia to help; Albert Ngosa has several times been called in to help; Tarisai Nyanweda has virtually carried the entire project and emerged as a star monitor, assisting many of our senior staff.
Our sincere appreciation to Skhoe Ndhlovu who has for the last two months had to put her own work on hold to manage the project; she has done so graciously and with dedication. Lukhanyo Nyati, our data analyst has also been incredibly thorough in his checking of the data, and pointing up problems, despite the inconvenience to him of the constant stalling in order to go back and do additional monitoring.

It is a pleasure to work with a team of people who place the integrity of their work above personal considerations.

Partner in need
By Colleen Lowe Morna

The management team will recall that at our meeting early April after a punishing week with all of us scrambling to go on holiday Priscilla interrupted briefly with an urgent matter. It concerned Francis Duri, head of the urban council association in Zimbabwe and Secretary General of the Southern African branch of the African association of urban councils.

His one year old daughter suffers from a rare muscular disorder that if not treated can result in paralysis. He could not get the medication he needed in Zim. Priscilla went to several pharmacies and also could not get the medication before she left. That evening Francis phoned  me in a very distraught state. I phoned my brother in law, a surgeon, then in the middle of an operation. When he came out at 10 pm he phoned several of his colleagues and pharmacies linked to hospitals. Eventually around midnight we found a 24 hour pharmacy in Kempton Park that had the medication.

As I was travelling early Friday Nancy kindly agreed to take the medicine to the airport with Elias and get it to Mukayi who was flying to Harare a little later. Francis got the medication around 11 am on Friday and it was administered immediately. When he called to thank the GL team he said that although he has several relatives in SA in his hour of need the only real relative he could think of whom he knew would deliver for him was GL.

Little Vanessa Duri has now been discharged from ICU although she is still undergoing physiotherapy.   I would like to thank all those who despite needing to get off to their holidays pulled together to help – Priscilla, Nancy, Mukayi, and of course Martin who is one of the finest and most caring doctors I know.

There is so much we can do when we pass the ball seamlessly from one to the other in this way.  

Public Holidays
May – June 2010
Sat,1 May:   Labour Day
Thur,13 May:   Ascension Day

Sat,1 May:   Labour Day

South Africa:
Sat,  1 May:   Worker’s Day

May:- Key Dates

13 May :   Reports! Reports!

Bi-monthly Reports &  
Unit    Planners    

May all staff please observe
submission deadline!

5th :   Susan Tolmay
15th:   Colleen Lowe Morna
25th:   Albert Ngosa

Wishing you many more!!!!! |  Recommend |  Feedback |  More About Gender Links |  Unsubscribe from Newsletter


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