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  • Gender Unit

    Guided by the Protocol Gender and Development the Gender Unit of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Secretariat was established in June 1998 to facilitate, coordinate and monitor the implementation of SADC Gender Commitments at national and regional levels. The Gender Unit also has the mandate of facilitating the development and application of skills in gender analysis and gender mainstreaming in policy and programme/project development, implementation, review, planning and budgeting throughout SADC.

    The Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan (RISDP) stipulates the following six priority areas for the SADC Gender Unit:

    • Policy Development and Harmonisation;
    • Gender Mainstreaming;
    • Institutional Strengthening and Capacity Building;
    • Women’s Empowerment Programmes including; Women’s Human Rights; Women and Girl Child Education; Violence Against Women and Children; Sexual and Reproductive Health & Rights including HIV and AIDS; Women’s Economic Empowerment; Media and Information; and Women in Politics and Decision Making;
    • Communication, Information Sharing and Networking; and
    • Research, Monitoring & Evaluation.


    The Gender Unit reports directly to the Executive Secretary.


    A region that recognises, embraces and uplifts the fundamental importance of equal opportunities for all people regardless of their sex.


    To eliminate all forms of discrimination against women and girls through gender mainstreaming and women’s empowerment in all SADC structures and institutions the Gender Unit will:

    • Work to support all the structures and institutions to mainstream gender in their policies, programmes and activities;
    • Build capacity on gender analysis to facilitate gender-sensitive planning for programmes and projects;
    • Sensitise, enrol, engage and empower our stakeholders to understand, appreciate and make the case for gender priorities; and
    • Develop and provide the technical guidance in accelerating and strengthening women’s empowerment programmes.


    The overall objective of the SADC Gender Unit is to facilitate the achievement of substantive equality between women and men in the SADC region, through mainstreaming gender into all national and regional policies, programmes and activities, and the adoption of positive measures to accelerate progress in this regard. Derived from this overall objective in mind, the Gender Unit has the following specific objectives:Design and elaborate a policy and institutional framework, plans and programmes  for gender mainstreaming at national and regional levels;

    Relevant Documents

    Organisational Structure

    Gender Structure.jpg