SADC Protocol on Gender and Development

SADC Heads of State and Government signed and adopted the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development in August 2008 with the exception of Botswana and Mauritius. Out of the 13 Member States that have signed, 11 have already ratified the Protocol. The Objectives of the Protocol are among others to provide for the empowerment of women, to eliminate discrimination, and to achieve gender equality and equity through the development and implementation of gender-responsive legislation, policies, programmes and projects. It also seeks to harmonize the various international, continental and regional gender equality instruments that SADC Member States have subscribed to such as the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), Beijing Declaration and its Platform of Action, The  Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, and the Millennium Development goals(MDGs) amongst others. Therefore, the Protocol consolidates and creates synergies between various commitments on gender equality and women’s empowerment into one comprehensive regional instrument that enhances the capacity to plan, implement, and monitor the SADC Gender agenda effectively.