n Gender and Behaviour - SADC gender and development protocol : an evaluation of equality, empowerment and gender based violence in South Africa (2008-2012)




Southern Africa is likely to confront a myriad of challenges as it attempts to address effectively the needs and aspirations of its hundred million people, 40 per cent of whom live in extreme poverty with per capita incomes ranging from $256 per annum in Zimbabwe to $5099 in Mauritius. The greatest challenge of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) continues to be the need to build a life for its people free from poverty, diseases, human rights abuses, gender inequality and environmental degradation. Gender activists played a lead role in influencing the development and adoption, on the 17 August 2008, of the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development. In 2005, they undertook comprehensive regional research on sector-specific gender equality issues and gaps. Following the adoption of the SADC Gender and Development Protocol, gender activists came together between 2005 and 2008 to form cross-border and national alliances to undertake a campaign to influence the content of the Protocol, as well as lobby for its adoption. The adoption of the Gender and Development Protocol is one of the fastest in SADC Protocol history. This paper is an evaluation of the SADC Gender and Development Protocol, focusing on gender equality, women's empowerment and the reduction of gender based violence in South Africa. The protocol has a direct bearing on all its signatories in both the "developed" and "developing" countries within the SADC region.


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