Botswana: Botswana signs new SADC gender protocol

Gaborone, Botswana (PANA) - Botswana has signed the revised Southern African Development Community (SADC) protocol on gender and development.

The Ministry of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs on Thursday said the protocol is a commitment of SADC Heads of State in recognition of gender equality and equity, as a fundamental human right.

“The Protocol therefore aims to provide for the empowerment of women; eliminate discrimination against them; and also achieve gender equality by encouraging and harmonising development and implementation of gender responsive legislation, policies and programmes,” said Edwin Batshu, the Minister of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs.

Batshu said the decision to sign the document comes after the review of the Protocol as per Article 38 of the Protocol and Article 22 of the SADC Treaty, which sets the procedure for review.

“The revised protocol’s targets are more realistic thereby taking into consideration Botswana’s concerns. Furthermore, the protocol has been harmonised with other SADC Instruments to optimize resources and avoid duplication.”

He emphasized that the government has in the past remained committed to its ideals and purpose, as a signatory to the protocol.

Batshu said Botswana has made substantial progress regarding gender equality and women empowerment.

“This resulted in the overall ranking of Botswana at 70% in terms of implementation of the protocol which is above the regional average of 67 percent, placing the country at position seven out of the 15 Member States,” said Batshu, citing the SADC Gender Protocol Barometer of 2015.

Meanwhile, Botswana in 2016 made gender prominent in the Ministry of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs following the re-naming of the National Gender Machinery from Women’s Affairs Department to Gender Affairs Department in 2013.

Batshu said signing the protocol solidifies Botswana’s commitment to the promotion of gender equality and empowerment of women as aligned to the National Vision 2036, National Development Plan 11 and the National Policy on Gender and Development.

“Signing of this key instrument should also challenge all sectors in Botswana to intensify their efforts towards achieving gender equity and gender equality.”
-0- PANA DRW/VAO 26April2017

27 april 2017 15:45:31

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