SADC ministers review progress on implementation of gender equality programmes, projects and strategies
The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Committee of Ministers Responsible for Gender and Women’s Affairs convened recently in the capital of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) to review progress on the implementation of the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development and relevant sectoral programmes, projects and strategies aligned to the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (2020-2030).
The meeting, attended by member states Angola, Botswana, the DRC, Malawi, Mauritius, Namibia, South Africa, Tanzania, Zambia, and Zimbabwe, was chaired by Hon Mireille Muloko, Minister for Gender, Family and Children Affairs of the DRC.
Highlighting the efforts made by his country to promote gender equality, DRC Deputy Prime Minister HE Jean-Pierre Lihau, said his country established a disarmament, demobilization community and social rehabilitation programme in response to armed conflict, for which the government is advocating greater participation by women.
The SADC Deputy Executive Secretary for Corporate Affairs, Ambassador Joseph Nourrice, welcomed all ministers on behalf of the Executive Secretary, HE Elias Magosi, and underscored that efforts on gender equality and women’s empowerment are unachievable without meaningful representation and participation of women in politics and decisionmaking.
“Articles 5, 12, and 13 of the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development stipulates that member states shall ensure that there is an equal representation and participation of women and men in decisionmaking positions and for them to adopt strategies to enable women to have equal opportunities with men to participate in all electoral processes,” according to SADC Protocol on Gender and Development.
Hon Muloko, also called on the ministers to put in place structures and mechanisms to accelerate the implementation of the commitments to gender equality, equity, and empowerment of women, which is central to the SADC Protocol.
He urged the ministers to strengthen efforts to lobby, advocate, raise awareness, and mobilise resources to advance women’s equal representation in politics and decisionmaking bodies.
The meeting disclosed the performance on women’s participation in parliament and cabinet, noting that Namibia and South Africa are the only member states that reached parity in cabinet last year. It comes as some member states showed constant positive trends while others are losing their gains in facilitating gender parity.