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;
- Facilitate gender training and capacity building in gender analysis and mainstreaming for all SADC structures and institutions;
- Integrate gender into all SADC regional integration priorities such as Trade; Agriculture; Health; Education; HIV and AIDS; Infrastructure Development; Water; Peace and Security etc;
- Promote and facilitate the Achievement of 50% Representation of Women in Politics and Decision-Making Structures at all levels by the year 2015;
- Facilitate the promotion of women’s equal Access to and control of Productive and Economic resources;
- Coordinate and facilitate the eradication of Gender Based Violence including the combating trafficking in persons and violence against women and children in armed and post-conflict situations; and
- Undertake Research, Monitor and Evaluate Progress made by SADC Member States in implementing Gender commitments with a view to document and disseminate best practices.
- The Gender Protocol
- SADC Gender Policy
- SADC Gender Mainstreaming Resource Kit
- SADC Workplace Gender Policy (2009)
- SADC Gender Monitor 2013: Women in Politics and Decision-Making Positions
- Vérificateur de Genre de la SADC 2013: Les Femmes en Politique et dans des Postes de Responsabilité
- Monitor do Género da SADC 2013: Mulheres na Política e Posições de Tomada de Decisão
- SADC Gender Monitor 2006