Genderlinked, Issue 10, June 2010

Date: November 11, 2010
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“Protect your enthusiasm from the negativity of other. Avoid toxic people. If you run into one anyway, treat yourself to a double latte.”
Barbara  Johnson

Issue  10 |  June 2010
Table of Contents
»Words from the Editor
» Botswana Office
» Mauritius Office
»Team Work & Dream Work
» Programmes Updates
» Wellbeing Section

»    Birthdays

»    GL Board News

»    HR News

»  Key Dates
» Laugh Out Loud
Programme  Updates

Gender & Governance

‘Excellence is not a skill, it is an attitude’ À“ Ralph Maston

May was  a very productive month conceptually for the Governance team based on the fact that we have now decided to change our local government process and will now be focussing on councils across the region in becoming Centres of Excellence for Gender Mainstreaming at Local Government level.

The Centres of Excellence will seek to ensure that key council are identified across the region and worked with very closely in their process of getting gender on their council’s agenda.   This will take place through sustained interventions that bring together policy, implementation, capacity building through on-the-job training, monitoring and evaluation and the annual sharing of good practices at the annual Gender Justice and Local Government Summit recently held.

The approach builds on experience that GL has gained over several years in working with media houses on developing and implementing gender policies and action plans through a six stage process, as well as several years of collaboration with the City of Johannesburg on its gender audit, policy and gender mainstreaming programme.

The approach also seeks to develop synergy in GL programme work by focusing various projects from our SADC Gender Protocol, governance, media and justice programmes in specific localities.   These include:   including the GBV and local government action plans; on-the-job training for women in politics; village workshops on the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development and media literacy.   Working closely with the local government association with whom we have close links, we will seek to mobilise resources and rate multiplier effects from the initial 100 council in, at least, ten countries that we work with.  


During the week of the 10 À“ 16 May 2010, all of the country facilitators gathered in Johannesburg for a very vigorous and also exciting Training of Trainers session around the centres for excellence process. This TOT allowed for the Governance team to scrutinise every aspect of the new process, including everything from MOUs right through to new training material.

Gender and Media Programme
Gender Policy workshops
GL conducted 2 Gender policy workshops in the month of May. One was held in   Johannesburg on the 3rd of May which was International Press Freedom Day. The workshop brought together 18 community radio representatives from all nine provinces of South Africa. The purpose of the workshop was to familiarise radio stations with GL Newsroom Gender Policies.

Participants were able to draw up action plan for their provinces. They are now in the process of seeking buy in their respective media houses.

The second workshop was conducted in Tanzania from the 14th -15th of May. This workshop was to take media houses through the various stages of developing newsroom gender policies. All media houses present were able to submit draft policies which Gender Links is currently reviewing.

Gender and Media Diversity Centre (GMDC)
From 15 June – 15 September Gender Links will be implementing a Communications Campaign to raise awareness around 2010 and human trafficking titled,   “Together We Can End Human Trafficking.”

The first spot will be  broadcast in all on the 10 June 2010 to coincide with the opening ceremony of Soccer 2010.

Gender Links will also use their Opinion and Commentary Service to produce ten opinion  pieces each month from writers across Africa on the key messages of the Red Light 2010 campaign. These articles will be integrated into various media sources  and will be uploaded onto the GMDC website for online viewing.

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

Gender Based Violence Indicators Project
Household Surveys: the data collection has reached more than half of the targeted interviews, i.e., 764 interviews out of 1500 households to be visited.   However,  there is a big challenge with recruiting participants in suburban areas and Afrikaans speaking communities.  

Gender Justice Programme
A successful meeting was hosted on the 13th May at The Cottages, attended by  delegates from the two provincial networks on violence against women (WC and KZN), the National Shelter Movement, the Sexual Offences Working Group, and other NGOs such as TVEP, Nisaa Institute for Women’s Development, CSVR, Childline, Mosaic, Thusang Advice Centre, Masimanyane, and Lethabong Legal Advice Centre.

The meeting   took stock of the current developments in the gender-based violence sector in South Africa and agreed on the need to re-invigorate the NAP via provincial consultations that will culminate in a national conference in November 2010.    

On the 11-12 of May, Kubi Rama and Angelica Pino took part in the Africa UNiTE Campaign to End Violence against Women and GirlsUNIFEM Southern Africa & Indian Ocean Islands. The Consultation aimed to officially present the Africa UNiTE Campaign in Southern Africa, and to open up a space of dialogue for Southern African countries to identify ways of contributing to the Campaign outcomes, as well as national commitments and on-going initiatives to end violence against women that can be supported through the Africa UNiTE Campaign.


Words from the Editor

Hello everybody!
Welcome to the June edition of Gender Linked, keeping you posted on developments within our growing community!

I can not believe we are plunging into the second half of the year already! What immediately comes to my mind is the nudge to “stock takeÀ ~ yes those commitments we made to ourselves  at the beginning of the year, just how far have we gone through them, what have  we achieved, what can  we do differently going
forward… Let us all spend a moment “stock takingÀ

On the office front, May was characterised by serious house keeping issues; we had our satellite and field office staff in Johannesburg for a week of intense planning and training. To wind down the week was the Executive Director, Colleen Lowe Morna’s 50th birthday bash, this was celebrated in style at the Casalinga Restaurant in Muldersdrift, on 15 May. This was actually a joint birthday celebration.   GL Board member, Ruth Ayisi, was also celebrating her 50th birthday, having had her 50th birthday on 6 May.  

GL Board, Management and staff wish Colleen Lowe Morna and Ruth Ayisi many more happy returns.   And a big WELCOME back to our Executive Director, Colleen.   She has been away for two weeks taking the South Downs 100 miles walk in England!, earning for herself the title “2010 GL  Fitness Star”!

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?

Gender & Local government workshops continue
It was time this month for the 11th and 12th Gender and Local government workshops in Botswana, in Kgatleng District Council and Jwaneng Town Council. The workshops were successful in sensitizing the councilors and officials  on gender issues.    Gender Links together with BALA assisted  the participants to develop action plan that  incorporate gender in  daily activities.

Preparations are underway  for the 13th workshop scheduled  beginning of  June,   North-East workshop in Masunga.

Staffing News
The Botswana office is excited to welcome a new intern, Lydia Keenao, from The University of Botswana, Department of Media Studies. She will be
assisting the office with activities concerning gender and media, gaining work experience and the developing her writing skills through contributing to the Gender Links VRC and clippings service.

Physical Resources

The Gender Links office is clearly visible in the area these days thanks to the installation of a big signage board on the office building and two smaller
designs within the office building.

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

Gender, media and Elections
Mauritius Satellite Office had a very successful workshop on Gender, Media and Elections.    A training manual and a fact sheet developed by the Mauritian Satellite Office were used. The workshop was a real eye opener.

Some of the points raised in the evaluation forms included:-  
  You must continue to empower women to stand up and make their voices heard
  Empower citizens to   be able to be critical towards the media
  Being journalists we have acquired further knowledge to analyse, write and report articles. We can write from a gender perspective
  The film “Coal faceÀ and the debate that followed was excellent
  Would welcome more workshops of this nature
  Analysis of the media
  Preconceived ideas on politics have been debunked
  Key issues around gender and elections
  How to voice our opinion and write press releases.

Participants did a quick monitoring of the media. The different electoral systems were explained and participants got a good grasp of what must be done to have more women in Parliament.

On Monday, 7 June, Loga Virahsawmy will be meeting with the new Minister of Gender and Equality, Ms Sheila Bapoo, to discuss and brief on the Gender Links work and initiatives.    We wish her a  productive meeting.

Planning for a press conference and writing press releases
After this session, participants drafted a press release that was picked in three media outlets in Mauritius.  

Gender Links in the news
Gender Links was very much in the news before, during and after the general elections. The Director was invited to comment on sexist languages.   The Director of the Francophone Office of Gender Links got an anonymous letter of threat because she took position on the blatant and sexist language of politicians. She made a complaint to the police.

SADC Mission visiting the office of Gender Links and Media Watch Organisation-GEMSA
A   delegation of over 20 members of the SADC mission met with the Director of Gender Links (Mauritius and Francophone) and the Facilitator of GEMSA(Mauritius). They wanted to know more about these two organizations and media coverage of elections.   The Director of the Francophone Office of Gender Links was invited to comment on the elections during the whole day of the elections results on 6th May. This is the first time that a woman was invited to comment on elections results.      The May 5 Elections results showed that Gender Links was right at its forecast of women to be elected in the elections, i.e. 13 on a total of 21 women fielded.

Opinion and Commentary Articles
Loga Virahsawmy  wrote three opinion stories before, during and after the elections. All the three articles were picked up by several local media

Local Authorities as Centres of Excellence
On Monday 24th May,  Loga and Mary had a meeting with the newly appointed   Minister of Local Government, Honorable Herve Aimee at his office in order to inform him of Gender Links’s former   work in Local Government and to ensure buy-in for future collaboration and support in relation with the activities GL will be carrying out in the different Local Authorities.

Both the Minister and his Permanent Secretary were very positive and we got assurance that the Ministry will enter in an MOU with GL and thus giving more credit to the project.

Mauritius Satellite Office in Johannesburg
All staff of the satellite office had a one week session in Johannesburg. Loga Virahsawmy  facilitated workshop for Care Work as well as GEMSA.
Both Mary Coopan and Loga Virahsawmy  had a great time at Colleen’s birthday. Mauritius Satellite Office would like to thank Colleen and her family for having invited them  to this memorable birthday party.

GL Board News
Thank   you to  Scholastica Kimaryo,  Amb. Thenjiwe Mtintso, Dr Pinkie Mekgwe,  Eduardo Namburete, Ruth Ayisi  for taking the time to come out and celebrate Colleens’ birthday, your show of support is always appreciated.    Pat Made, Ferial Haffajee, Dr Muna Ndulo your contributions to the book were well received, thank you.    

Dr Muna Ndulo part of a panel in Somalia on mission with the Somali Constitutional Commission reviewing  Somalia’s decision on federalism as a system of government, as is state in Somalis’ Interim Constitution.

Wellbeing Programme Updates

A big thank you to Ms Scholastica Kimaryo for her enthusiasm and active participation in shaping Gender Links Wellbeing programme.   Ms Kimaryo also rejuvenated and excited our Satellite and Field office staff in her presentation on Happiness:   Understanding yourself.   The Wellbeing committee received very positive feedback, and we would like to say thank you Mama Kimaryo, your efforts are very much appreciated.

After many consultations, deliberations and revisions, the  Wellbeing Plan and budge for the year ending March 2011 has now been finalised and  is  complete.   Congrats to all involved, and we are looking to active participation from all staff.    

Johannesburg office activities for June include a potluck dinner at the EDs’ residence while watching the Soccer 2010 opening concert on 10 June, a wellness walk on 16 June, weekly choir and gym! and much more to look forward to.

Mauritius office will the having a Wellbeing activity with family and friends at the Domaine   Lagrave on Saturday, 5 June.

Satellite offices and Field staff please be advised that your annual wellbeing allowances will be transferred soon.

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Laugh Out Loud!!!!

Fear of the Unknown….
(Submitted by Gladys Muzirwa)

Pastor: “If there is anybody here that does not want this couple to be joined together in holy matrimony, he or she should speak out now.”

A man from the extreme back of the church stood up and walked towards the alter. As the bride saw the man coming closer, she fainted. The bridegroom and the whole congregation were in confusion. When the man got to the front, the pastor asked, “Why don’t you want these people to be joined together?”

Man: “I could not hear your voice clearly from the back sir, so I decided to come and tell you that the speaker is faulty!

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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!.    

Gender Links team is an A team.
By Loveness Jambaya

This was demonstrated when we applied for the Oxfam GB grant to produce radio spots and Opinion and Commentary articles aimed at combating human trafficking. Kubi Rama, Debbie Walter, Jennifer Lewis    and myself worked together to finalise the proposal building on work begun by the GMDC and
within the week the proposal was approved.

In the same week the A team began to work on the project combined with funds from another grant from the IOM. Within just under two weeks Debbie had drafted three radio spots translated into 11 languages and a presenters guide already gone through design and lay out with comments received from all team members within minutes of sending the drafts. By the end of the second week 20 voices had participated in developing the spots in 11 languages.  

Here are some of the comments received from the donor  s ~  Alice Banze À“Regional Gender Justice Manager of Oxfam GB: “Good that now we are moving to the opinion and commentary service, it was wonderful with the spots… Note that the comments are needed (for the Opinion and Commentary Service outline). Note that the comments are needed quickly and from my experience with the spots that we were replying immediately we worked well and we had a wonderful final productÀ“ 20 May 2010

I am getting excited with the achievements so far – May 28, 2010À It is such an exciting project with a lot of energy flowing through and I am sure it will it end on a high note. Well done and thank you to everyone who has been involved especially Debbie Walter for all the hard work you have put in. It is a model on how team projects can really work well when we all pull in one direction.


Gender and   Governance -Training of Trainers Session: 10 À“ 16 May 2010
By Ntombi Mbadlanyana

The Gender and Governance Programme has undergone a new process in terms of approaching and formulating GBV action plans as well as conducting the GBV workshops, within the identified councils and launching the Centres of Excellence programme.

The training session commenced, with all country facilitators present. The e training process was different and was geared towards self – assessment and teaching one another. We were all assigned a module that we had to prepare overnight, and present the following day.

This exercise proved to be fruitful and beneficial, as well all engaged actively with the presented materials as well as learning from one another.   Loga Virahsawmy also facilitated and presented a module to us. I really enjoyed the TOT and I would like to thank Abigail Jacobs Williams and the rest of my colleagues from the Governance Team for ensuring that the training was successful.  


Public Holidays
June/July 2010
Thurs, 1 July:   Sir Seretse Khama Day
Mon,  19 July:    Presidents’ Day

South Africa:
Wed,  16 June:    Youth Day

May:- Report  Dates

10 June :   Reports! Reports!
Unit    Planners    
May all staff please observe
submission deadline!

Please refer to Weekly Calendar for detailed breakdown


Happy Birthday to GL Board member, Dr Pinkie Mekgwe who celebrated her birthday on 25 May!  

27th June:   Gladys  Muzirwa

Wishing you many more!!!!!


Human Resources News

We would like to extend a warm welcome to Thabani Mpofu who joined Gender Links   as Gender and Media Manager. He brings with him  more than eleven years experience in the mainstream media.

On a sad note, we would like to bid farewell and best wishes to Agnelica Pino, Gender Justice Manager, who leaves the employ of Gender Links on 4 June.

Emsie Erastus completes her Intership on 16 June, and returns to  Namibia.   We  would like to thank for the contribution made to the GMDC  unit, and with best wishes for her future.      


Editorial  Team
Abigail  Jacobs-Williams, Jennifer Elle Lewis, Loga Virahsawmy, Mukayi Makaya; Roos van Dorp |  Recommend |  Feedback |  More About Gender Links |  Unsubscribe from Newsletter


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