SADC Protocol on Gender & Development 2008


We, the Heads of State or Government of:
The Republic of Angola
The Republic of Botswana
The Democratic Republic of Congo
The Kingdom of Lesotho
The Republic of Madagascar
The Republic of Malawi
The Republic of Mauritius
The Republic of Mozambique
The Republic of Namibia
The Republic of South Africa
The Kingdom of Swaziland
The United Republic of Tanzania
The Republic of Zambia
The Republic of Zimbabwe

CONVINCED that the integration and mainstreaming of gender issues into the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Programme of Action and Community Building Initiatives is key to the sustainable development of the SADC region;

NOTING that Member States undertook, in the SADC Treaty (Article 6(2)), not to discriminate against any person on the grounds of, inter alia, sex or gender;

NOTING further that all SADC Member States are convinced that gender equality and equity is a fundamental human right and are committed to gender equality and equity and have signed and ratified or acceded to the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women;

RECALLING that Member States reaffirmed their commitment to the Nairobi Forward Looking Strategies (1985); Convention on the Rights of the Child (1989); the Africa Platform of Action; the Beijing Declaration and its Platform for Action (1995); and United Nations Resolution 1325 on Women, Peace and Security (2000); and resolved, through the SADC Declaration on Gender and Development ( 1997) and its Addendum on the Prevention and Eradication of Violence Against Women and Children (1998); to ensure the elimination of all gender inequalities in the region and the promotion of the full and equal enjoyment of rights;

TAKING COGNISANCE of the decision on gender parity taken at the inaugural session of the African Union Assembly of Heads of State and Government in July 2002 in Durban, South Africa, and the adoption of the
Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa during the Second Ordinary Session of the Assembly of the African Union in Maputo, Mozambique in 2003;

RECOGNISING that Member States are obliged to meet their commitments and set targets under the said instruments, and that the fragile gains made face new threats as a result of, inter alia, HIV and AIDS, globalisation, human trafficking, especially of women and children, the feminisation of poverty, and gender based violence;

RECOGNISING further that social, cultural and religious practices, attitudes and mindsets continue to militate against the attainment of gender equality and equity which are central to democracy and development;

RECALLING that Article 26 of the SADC Addendum on the Prevention and Eradication of Violence Against Women and Children recognises that urgent consideration must be given to the adoption of legally binding SADC instruments;

DETERMINED to consolidate and create synergy between the various commitments on gender equality and equity made at regional, continental and international levels into one comprehensive regional instrument that enhances the capacity to report effectively on all instruments and also addresses new challenges; and

COMMITTED to drawing up a plan of action setting specific targets and timeframes for achieving gender equality and equity in all areas, as well as effective monitoring and evaluation mechanisms for measuring progress.