The Gender Unit of the Southern Africa Development Community (Sadc) says the regional grouping’s Protocol on Gender and Women’s Empowerment is now in force following the ratification by a majority of member States.
Malawi is among the 11 countries that have ratified the protocol, sending the instrument into full motion in terms of implementation.
“The Sadc Protocol on gender and development was signed by Sadc heads of State in August 2008 in Johannesburg, South Africa. Now, the protocol has entered into force.
“We have received sufficient ratifications for the protocol now to be in effect. So essentially, Sadc member States are now ready to champion and implement the Sadc protocol and effectively deliver the commitments they made for gender equality and women’s empowerment,” announced Magdeline Madibela, Sadc Head of the Gender and Development Programme, during a news conference in Lilongwe yesterday.
She said the forthcoming summit in Lilongwe will now see how to make the protocol to become reality in the lives of women and girls.
“There are a number of issues that the Sadc summit of heads of State and government will look into in terms of gender issues. While they will effectively look at seeing how the protocol will work hand in hand with national gender policies and action plans, the presidents’ meeting will also note progress made in women representation in decision making positions in all the member states,” said Madibela.
According to Sadc website, the protocol looks into integration and main streaming of gender issues into the Sadc Programme of Action and Community Building initiatives which is important to the sustainable development of the Sadc region.
This is also a tool used to set realistic, measurable targets, time frames and indicators for achieving gender equality and equity and monitor and evaluate the progress made my member States.