Activists target SADC summit for more women representation

Gender Activists have targeted the ongoing SADC Heads of State and governments to push for more women representation both at national and local levels arguing that results from the last set of elections in the SADC were disappointing.

Under the banner of the Southern Africa Gender Protocol Alliance, the Activists noted that with ten elections in the region from August 2013 and December 2015, they would make a significant push for the summit to act on this front.

The Alliance, a network of 15 countries and eight theme groups, that vigorously campaigned for the protocol, its ratification and its implementation, said SADC should not seriously look at new priorities and concerns on the agenda apart from the fact that time is running out.

“The overall percentage of women MPs in the region initially stood at 21 percent rose to 24 then 25 and is back at 24 percent. Cabinet appointments for women have also regressed,” Gender Links Executive Director Colleen Lowe Morna said.

President Dr Joyce Banda: to launch the barometer
President Dr Joyce Banda: to launch the barometer

Morna said this in Lilongwe at the Cross Roads Hotel during the presentations on the SADC Gender Protocol 2013 Barometer.

Malawi President Dr Joyce Banda will formally launch the Barometer on Thursday, on the eve of the Heads of State Summit.

Morna also said apart from other gains that the fifth edition has chalked, the 2013 Barometer carries good news on HIV for the first time.

“AIDS related deaths in the region have reduced by 32 percent since 2001 due to the expansion of the ARV therapy, IN some seven SADC countries PMTCT is higher that 80 percent,” she said.

National Chairperson for Gender Equality Marcel Chisi said there is need for men holding decision-making positions in sectors such as Army, Police, Judiciary, Treasury and the legislation among other to create space for more women.

Chisi, who heads a grouping that prides its self as “transformed men who are willing to share the stage for fighting gender equality” claimed men of quality were not afraid of inequality.

“We will work to transform men in these sectors,” he said.

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