March 19, 2024

SADC and GIZ Co-hosted a Regional Conference on Advancing Data and Evidence for Gender-Based Violence Prevention and SRHR in Southern Africa

The Southern African Development Community (SADC), in its quest to strengthen efforts to prevent gender-based violence (GBV) in the SADC region, and in partnership with the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ), hosted a Regional Conference on GBV Prevention from 06-07 March 2024, in Johannesburg, South Africa. The Conference was held under the theme: Advancing Data and Evidence for Gender-Based Violence Prevention and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Rights in Southern Africa Region. This Conference was held as part of implementing the SADC Regional Strategy and Framework of Action on Addressing Gender Based Violence (2018-2030). This Strategy places emphasis on prevention of GBV in the SADC region and it promotes evidence-informed interventions and sharing of information and good practices on the response to and prevention of GBV among Member States and stakeholders. 

The Conference brought together about 175 delegates from all the 16 SADC Member States, comprising of policymakers, government officials (Gender, Health, Police and Statistics sectors), researchers, and civil society organisations working in the field of gender equality, GBV prevention, sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) and data analysis. It provided a platform to share knowledge, experiences, and innovative solutions on collection and use of GBV and SRHR data to inform GBV prevention interventions in the SADC region. 

The SADC Executive Secretary, His Excellency Mr. Elias Magosi in delivering his statement, emphasised that “we must actively engage in addressing the root causes of GBV, which include the deep-rooted cultural and social norms in societies that perpetuate gender inequality”. To this end, we need long-term investments in educational programmes to promote behavioural change. It is also important to advance substantive gender equality by ensuring women’s full and effective participation in political, economic, and social spheres”.

The Minister of Social Development of the Republic of South Africa, Honourable Lindiwe Zulu, in opening the conference stated that despite the robust gender-based violence and femicide prevention legislative and policy frameworks in most countries, data collection, analysis and reporting limitations continue to exist.

The Conference highlighted that addressing challenges with regards to the collection, analysis, reporting and use of data for GBV prevention and promoting SRHR in the SADC region requires concerted efforts from governments, civil society organizations, development partners and other stakeholders. By addressing these challenges, the SADC region can improve on data systems that can generate comprehensive and reliable data to inform evidence based and targeted GBV prevention strategies and interventions.

Key recommendations from the Conference include the following: harmonisation of GBV data systems at national and regional levels; strengthening of information sharing platforms; implementation of evidence-informed GBV prevention initiatives; increased investments in national surveys on GBV; engagement of national statistics institutions in generating gender and GBV statistics; scale up and replicate effective GBV prevention interventions and invest in long-term initiatives; integration of GBV  ed  . 

In closing the Conference, Honorable Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Minister in the Presidency for Women, Youth and People with Disabilities of the Republic of South Africa, called for increased investments in the prevention of GBV including on national GBV surveys to support development and implementation of people-centred and evidence-informed interventions.