The Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities indicated that the Southern African Development Community Protocol on Gender and Development was adopted by the Community's Heads of State on 17 August 2008 in
The significance of the Protocol had elevated the 1997 Southern African Development Community Heads of State and Government’s Declaration on Gender and Development to the most binding of the regional organization’s instruments. It had 28 substantive targets for achieving gender equality by 2015 and it was a global first, and placed the Southern African Development Community at the cutting edge of innovative strategies for giving global and continental commitments meaning at the sub-regional level. As a Community legal instrument, it laid the basis for mainstreaming gender in all other Community Protocols and policies, thereby making it central to the agenda of achieving regional integration, development and democracy. The Protocol had clear and comprehensive institutional mechanisms for Monitoring and Evaluation, thereby ensuring accountability by Community member states. Only seven countries had to date ratified and deposited the instrument with the Community Secretariat.Members had to take into consideration that the Protocol could not be changed on this platform and only comments and questions for clarity had to be asked. Members noted that the Protocol had been submitted to the State Law Advisors for scrutiny to ascertain that it was not in possible conflict with the domestic laws of the country, and was found not to be in conflict, and asked whether an investigation had been done, and what the outcome was. Members noted that
Presentation on the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Gender and Development
Ms Nonhlanhla Mkhize, Director-General (DG), Department of Women, Children and People with Disabilities (DWCPD) thanked the Committee for allowing the Department to do this presentation. She stated that Members would recall that the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol was adopted on 17 August 2008. SADC consisted of 15 members and only 13 had signed the Protocol, with
The presentation on the SADC Protocol was tabled by Ms Ranji Reddy, the Chief Director of (Women Empowerment and Gender Equality (WEGE) in the Department. She indicated that the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development was adopted by SADC Heads of State on 17 August 2008 in
The significance of the Protocol had elevated the 1997 SADC Heads of State and Government’s Declaration on Gender and Development to the most binding of the regional organization’s instruments. It had 28 substantive targets for achieving gender equality by 2015 and it was a global first, and placed SADC at the cutting edge of innovative strategies for giving global and continental commitments meaning at the sub-regional level. As a SADC legal instrument, it laid the basis for mainstreaming gender in all other SADC Protocols and policies, thereby making it central to the agenda of achieving regional integration, development and democracy. The Protocol had clear and comprehensive institutional mechanisms for Monitoring and Evaluation (M&E), thereby ensuring accountability by SADC member states.
The history of the Protocol derived from August 2005 where the SADC Heads of State and government during their
Articles 1-3 consisted of the principles and objectives which covered definitions, general principles and objectives. The Protocol aimed to bring together existing commitments; enhance those through specific time-frames; create effective mechanisms for implementation; and share best practices and deepen regional integration.
Articles 4-8 dealt with the Constitutional and Legal Rights. These provided for all constitutions in the region to enshrine gender equality and give such provisions primacy over customary law. All laws that were discriminatory to women were to be repealed. It also provided for equality in accessing justice, marriage and family rights and the rights of widows, elderly women, and the girl child, women with disabilities and other socially excluded groups. Its endeavour was to enshrine gender equality and equity in signatories' constitutions and ensure that those were not comprised by any provisions, laws or practices. Member states had to review, amend and / or repeal all discriminatory laws, and abolish the minority status of women.
Article 9 looked at issues regarding Persons with Disabilities. This article provided that persons with disabilities must have their health, welfare and other rights promoted and protected, through enacting or reviewing laws and other measures. Member States had to take into account the vulnerabilities and abuse of people with disabilities, including in the workplace. Article 10 provided an oversight on Widows and Widower’s Rights. Laws had to be strengthened or put in place to make sure that widows and widowers were not badly treated, and, unless if a court decided, widows automatically had guardianship and custody of their children, had the right to continue to live in the marital home, and an equitable share in inheriting from their late husband. A widow should also have the right to remarry a person of her choice and have protection from all forms of violence and those rights also applied to widowers.
Article 11 dealt with the Girl and Boy Child. Policies, programmes and laws had to be in place to ensure the protection and development of both the boy and girl child, including eliminating all forms of discrimination in the family, community, institutions and government. Harmful cultural attitudes and practices had to be eliminated, including violence and economic exploitation, and there should be equal access to education and health.
Governance, Representation and Representation was covered in Articles 12-13. These articles provided for the equal representation of women in all areas of decision-making, both public and private and suggested that this target be achieved through constitutional and other legislative provisions, including affirmative action. It further stipulated that Member States should adopt specific legislative measures and other strategies, policies and programmes to ensure that women participated effectively in electoral processes and decision-making by, amongst others, building capacity, providing support and establishing and strengthening structures to enhance gender mainstreaming. The endeavour was to ensure that 50% of decision-making positions in all public and private sectors were held by women including through the use of affirmative action measures.
Article 14 dealt with Education and Training. This article provided for equal access to quality education and training for women and men, as well as their retention at all levels of education. It further provided for challenging stereotypes in education and eradicating gender-based violence in educational institutions. Countries had to enact laws that promoted equal access to and retention in primary, secondary, tertiary, vocational and non-formal education in accordance with the Protocol on Education and Training and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs); and adopt and implement gender sensitive educational policies and programmes addressing gender stereotypes in education and gender-based violence, amongst others.
Articles 15-19 covered the Productive Resources and Employment, and Economic Empowerment. These articles provided for the equal participation of women in economic policy formulation and implementation. They had provisions and targets on entrepreneurship, access to credit and public procurement contracts, as well as stipulations on trade policies, equal access to property, resources and employment. This section ensured equal participation by women and men in policy formulation and implementation of economic policies; conduct time use studies and adoption of policy measures to ease the burden of the multiple roles played by women; and adoption of policies and enacting laws which ensured equal access, benefits and opportunities for women and men in trade and entrepreneurship, taking into account the contribution of women in the formal and informal sectors.
The specific targets to be achieved by 2015 were to review national trade and entrepreneurship policies, to make them gender responsive. With regard to the affirmative action provisions of Article 5, the target was to introduce measures to ensure that women benefited equally from economic opportunities, including those created through public procurement processes. Countries had to review all policies and laws that determined access to, control of, and benefit from, productive resources by women; and review amend and enact laws and policies that ensured women and men had equal access to wage employment in all sectors of the economy.
Articles 20-25 covered Gender Based Violence. These articles made provision for the implementation of a variety of strategies, including enacting, reviewing, reforming and enforcing laws aimed at eliminating all forms of gender-based violence, and trafficking. There were specific stipulations for the provision of a comprehensive package of treatment and care services for survivors of gender-based violence, including the access to post exposure prophylaxis and the establishment of special courts to address those cases. There were specific provisions on human trafficking. A section which provided for monitoring and evaluation did set targets and indicators for reducing gender-based violence levels by half by 2015. The targets to be achieved by 2015 were to enact and enforce legislation prohibiting all forms of gender-based violence and to ensure that laws on gender-based violence provided for the comprehensive testing, treatment and care of survivors of sexual assault. The section also provided for the review and reform of specific legislative provisions to prevent human trafficking and provide holistic services to the victims, with the aim of re-integrating them into society; and enact legislative provisions, adopt and implement policies, strategies and programmes which defined and prohibited sexual harassment in all spheres, and provide deterrent sanctions for perpetrators of sexual harassment. Countries had to adopt integrated approaches, including institutional cross-sector structures, with the aim of reducing current levels of gender-based violence by half by 2015.
Article 27 dealt with HIV/AIDS which covered the prevention, treatment, care and support in relation to HIV and AIDS. The targets to be achieved by 2015 were to develop gender sensitive strategies to prevent new infections and to ensure universal access to HIV and AIDS treatment for infected women, men, boys and girls. Countries had to develop and implement policies and programmes to ensure the appropriate recognition of the work carried out by care-givers, the majority of whom were women; the allocation of resources and psychological support for care-givers as well as to promote the involvement of men in the care and support of people living with AIDS.
Article 28 covered issue surrounding
Media, Information and Communication were covered in Articles 29-31. These articles provided for gender to be mainstreamed in all information, communication and media policies and laws. They called for women’s equal representation in all areas and at all levels of media work and for women and men to be given equal voice through the media. The Protocol called for increasing programmes for, by and about women and the challenging of gender stereotypes in the media. Countries had to take ownership to promote the equal representation of women in ownership of, and decision-making structures of the media, in accordance with Article 12.1 that provided for equal representation of women in decision-making positions by 2015.
Articles 32-36 dealt with Implementing, Monitoring and Evaluation. It made provision for gender sensitive budgets and resource allocation; oversight of the Protocol by a Committee of gender ministers; development of national action plans based on the Protocol; and the collection of baseline data for monitoring and evaluation. The Protocol required that Member States submit comprehensive reports to the Secretariat every two years indicating progress achieved in the implementation of the provisions.
Regarding the adoption and ratification, 13 of the 15 Member States had adopted the Protocol in 2008, with
The Chairperson thanked the Department for the presentation and said it was not too late for
Ms P Duncan (DA) thanked the Department for the presentation and asked a question on the letter from the Minister to the Speaker of the National Assembly. She asked if there was a response yet and noted in the last paragraph covering recommendations that the Protocol had been submitted to the State Law Advisors for scrutiny to ascertain that it was not in possible conflict with the domestic laws of the country, and was found not to be in conflict. She asked whether an investigation had been done, who had done it, and what the outcome was.
Ms I Ditshetelo (UCDP) also expressed her thankfulness on the report on the SADC Protocol and noted that
The Chairperson asked if the SADC Protocol would constitute a two-thirds majority if
The DG responded that the Department did follow up on the letter that the Minister had written to the Speaker of the National Assembly and that was why the Protocol was forwarded to the Portfolio Committee as part of the interaction process. Whilst the Department was waiting on the recommendations from the State Law Advisors, it had already started looking at laws in the country on issues regarding women to see if their were any contradictions. She wanted to clarify that the two-thirds majority had not been achieved yet.
Ms Ditshetelo asked why SADC had to wait for
Ms G Tseke (ANC) asked if it would be possible for Parliament to adopt the Protocol while the Department was still busy with the State Law Advisors.
The DG said that the copy of the Protocol which was presented in Parliament was signed in 2008;
Ms Duncan acknowledged that ratifying the document was very important and asked if it needed more consultations with various stakeholders to be ratified. If not, she asked if it was only the role of the Committee and the Department to do the ratification.
The Chairperson was yet not clear on the impact that the response would have on the Committee adopting the Protocol. The DG indicated that the document still needed to be finalised and asked how it would be possible for the Committee to adopt the document immediately if the Department was still waiting on responses.
Ms Reddy indicated that the delay from the State Law Advisors was due to various amendments, especially regarding the use of language and law contradictions.
The DG indicated that the Protocol was sent to the State Law Advisors for scrutiny before the President signed the document. The Department had to ensure that the Protocol was still in line with domestic laws after the President signed and, if there were any contradictions, the Department had to inform SADC. All responses from the State Law Advisors could be finalised this week and presented to the Committee the following week. All consultations were already done and the final process was with Parliament to do the ratification process.
Ms M Tlake (ANC) apologized for arriving late because she went to the wrong venue. She noted that the DG had indicated that the Department still needed a week to make the final presentation and suggested that the Committee waited for the whole package to be completed before it adopted the Protocol.
The Chairperson said that it appeared that the general feeling of Members was that the adoption should wait until the following week when all responses were finalised.
Ms Duncan said that the DG had indicated that the Department did consultation with various stakeholders and asked for a report of the consultation to be presented to the Committee whilst waiting for the final document.
The DG replied that the Department would submit the documents to Parliament on Friday regarding consultations and all related information.
The Chairperson thanked the Department for the presentation and highlighted that
- We don't have attendance info for this committee meeting
Download as PDF
You can download this page as a PDF using your browser's print functionality. Click on the "Print" button below and select the "PDF" option under destinations/printers.
See detailed instructions for your browser here.