Lilongwe, 7 June 2022 (TDI): The Ministers of Gender and Women’s Affairs from member states of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) will meet in Lilongwe, Malawi on 10 June 2022. This meeting aims to assess progress on the execution of the gender and development programs in the region.

Malawi’s Minister of Gender, Community Development, and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati, will chair the meeting. Minister Kaliati is also the chairperson for Ministers from the SADC region who are responsible for gender and women’s affairs.

During the meeting, Ministers will examine the progress in the application of the Protocol on Gender and Development. Moreover, they will further review the 2022 Southern African Development Community Gender and Development Monitor on Women in Politics and Decision-making. Specifically speaking, they will pay particular attention to Article 12 on Representation, Article 13 on Participation, and Article 5 on special measures of the protocol.

SADC and Regional Gender Development

The Southern African Development Community is a regional organization that comprises 16 member states in the Southern Africa region with its headquarters in Gaborone, Botswana. The main objective of SADC is to foster sustainable and equitable economic growth in the Southern Africa region. Accordingly, SADC works on achieving its goals through efficient, productive systems, deeper cooperation and integration, good governance, and durable peace and security. The region promotes many projects to enhance economic growth. Therefore, the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development is just one of them.

The logo of the Southern African Development Community and its member states.

The Ministers will also review the progress of the SADC Industrialization and Women’s Economic Empowerment Project (IWEE Project). Meanwhile, the IWEE Project is also a part of implementing the RMD-WEEP (2020-2030). The RMD-WEEP refers to the SADC Regional Multi-Dimensional Women Economic Empowerment Programme. Additionally, the IWEE aims to increase women-owned businesses’ and female entrepreneurs’ roles in regional value chains for selected sectors.

The Ministers will also assess the implementation of the SADC Strategy and Framework of Action for Addressing Gender-based violence (GBV). Furthermore, they will carry out an examination to determine the status of GBV in the SADC region. This Ministers’ meeting will occur following the Senior Officials for Gender and Women Affairs meeting. The Gender and Women Affairs meeting will be from 7th to 8th June.