This report assesses the extent to which governments of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) have honoured their commitment specified in section H (iii) of the SADC Declaration on Gender and Development (SDGD).
"Promoting women's full access to, and control over productive resources such as land, livestock, markets, credit, modern technology, formal employment, and a good quality of life in order to reduce the level of poverty among women."
Key information used in the assessment is derived from the information in publications and reports compiled through research undertaken by the Southern African Research and Documentation Centre's Women In Development Southern Africa Awareness (SARDC WIDSAA) programme with national partner organisations in the SADC region, as well as from the Progress Report on the Implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action by the SADC Region submitted by SADC Secretariat at the Seventh African Regional Decade Review Meeting on the Implementation of the Beijing Platform for Action (Beijing + 10), Addis-Ababa, Ethiopia, 6-15 October 2004.
The report assesses the provisions made in the SADC Declaration on Gender and Development as well as other relevant international commitments including the African Protocol on the Rights of Women and Children; the Beijing Platform for Action (BDPFA); Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
An analysis of the performance of SADC countries in implementing provisions under section H (iii) of the SDGD reveals that economic inequalities remain in existence even in cases where policies, legal provisions, and programmes to address specific provisions exist, because many countries lack easily controllable practical mechanisms to help detect, control, and prevent discriminatory action between the sexes that may occur in a society.
There is need therefore, for the proposed protocol to spell out clear provisions with clear strategies and mechanisms to ensure implementation within specific timeframes to facilitate monitoring and evaluation of progress.
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