SADC Gender and Women’s Affairs Ministers express concern over high rate of GBV in the region – Malawi

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Ministers Responsible for Gender and Women’s Affairs of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) expressed concern over the high prevalence of gender-based violence (GBV) in the region and urged Member States develop effective and sustainable GBV prevention programs.

This emerged from the meeting of ministers held on June 10, 2022 in Lilongwe, Malawi, to review progress in the implementation of gender and development programs in the region, as well as the revised SADC gender protocol. and development.

Ministers urged Member States to improve data collection on GBV and implement the SADC Regional Strategy and Framework for Action to Address GBV as part of the regional integration agenda efforts to achieve gender equality and promote peace and security.

They endorsed the SADC Gender and Development Monitor on Women in Politics and Decision-Making for 2022, with a focus on Articles 5, 12 and 13 of the Protocol on Representation, Participation and special measures, which aim to achieve gender parity in politics and decision-making. – do roles.

Ministers also endorsed the extension of the SADC Strategy on Women, Peace and Security from 2022 to 2030 to support the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security, which addresses the impact of conflict on women and the importance of women’s full and equal participation in conflict resolution, peacebuilding, peacekeeping, response humanitarian aid and post-conflict reconstruction.

During the implementation of the SADC Regional Multidimensional Women’s Economic Empowerment Program (RMD-WEEP) 2020-2030, Ministers reviewed the progress of the SADC Women’s Economic Empowerment and Industrialization Project ( IWEE project). This project aims to increase the participation of women-owned businesses and women entrepreneurs in adding value to selected sectors and regional value chains (RVCs).

Ministers also endorsed the revised Gender Mainstreaming Resource Kit, which supports gender mainstreaming in several sectors. The kit contains 10 sector modules that provide practical guidance on gender mainstreaming in priority regional integration sectors.

Ministers urged Member States that have not yet signed and ratified the Revised SADC Protocol on Gender and Development to do so to facilitate the implementation of the Protocol. The Protocol aims to empower women, eliminate discrimination and achieve gender equality by promoting and harmonizing gender-sensitive legislation, policies, programs and projects.

In her opening remarks, Hon. Nancy Tembo, Minister of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Malawi and Chairperson of the SADC Council of Ministers, commended Member States for seizing the unique opportunity to discuss political issues and for providing a platform to share ideas, experiences, and lessons.

She said gender equality is a critical component and contributing factor to SADC Member States and the long-term development of the region. Hon. Tembo advocated for equal recognition and the creation of an enabling environment in which men and women could continue to fully enjoy their rights without any violation or oppression, with job opportunities, businesses, access to institutions financial resources and representation in equal leadership positions.

Hon. Dr Patricia Kaliati, Minister of Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare of the Republic of Malawi, chaired the meeting in her capacity as Chairperson of SADC Ministers Responsible for Gender and Women’s Affairs. She underscored the Region’s determination to fully cultivate a robust approach embedded in the Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP 2020-2030), which will see a significant shift in the gender agenda embedded in many programs and projects of the region. SADC.

She highlighted a number of obstacles and situations that prevent women and girls from achieving gender parity, and called for accelerated implementation of regional protocols, strategies, policies and programs to support efforts. of women by encouraging them to participate in growth and progress towards a better future.

As part of the regional integration agenda efforts to achieve gender equality and promote peace and security, Hon. Kaliati called for the active promotion of effective GBV prevention initiatives and highlighted the physical and social woes that plague women and girls, including defilement, rape, HIV/AIDS and limited access to resources productive.

SADC Deputy Executive Secretary for Corporate Affairs, Ambassador Joseph Nourrice, highlighted a number of tools developed in line with the RISDP 2020-2030 priorities on gender equality and development and with the aim of achieve parity, equality, gender equity and especially the empowerment of women. and the girls.

Ambassador Nourrice commended Member States for their achievements and efforts in mainstreaming gender equality into key policy areas, and called for the active promotion of gender mechanisms through the active participation of all institutional actors from the public, private and voluntary sectors.

The meeting brought together physically and virtually Ministers or their representatives from 13 Member States, namely Angola, Botswana, Democratic Republic of Congo, Eswatini, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles, South Africa, the United Republic of Tanzania, Zambia and Zimbabwe.

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