Monday, July 19, 2010

Gender & Governance

The gender and governance programme has grown out of various research and advocacy projects which promote equal representation and effective participation of women in decision-making.
In 2002/2003 GL conducted the seminal study, Ringing up the Changes: Gender in Southern African Politics, which was the first study of its kind in the region and examined the impact of women in politics in SADC. Among other findings, this study identified local government as an area of weakness due the fact that almost all of the empowerment strategies undertaken up to that point had been focussed on parliamentarians. It is an area that has been sidelined despite having the potential to bring about real change for women because of its proximity to the real and basic needs that concern women.
As a result in 2006 Gender Links (GL) extended the research to the participation of women in local government in four SADC countries (Lesotho, Mauritius, Namibia and South Africa) published in a book titled At the Coalface, Gender and Local Government. What this study highlighted was that at the local government level very little is being done to involve or empower women, both within the institution or as part of their service delivery mandate. It concluded that unless gender is systematically mainstreamed into the work of local government, increased representation of women as well as ensuring that women benefit equally from all opportunities, will continue to happen in an ahdoc manner. Click here to view the At the Coalface: Gender and Governance in Southern Africa DVD
The gender and local governance work takes place in four phases beginning with the research which informs the subsequent processes. The launch of the research is linked to a strategy workshop with key policy makers and representatives of district councils on mainstreaming gender in local government. Following the strategy workshop representatives are brought together from the participating countries for a 4 -day training of trainer workshop to develop locally adapted materials for assisting local councils in formulating gender action plans in each country. The final phase is to conduct training at the local council level, and assist councillors and officials to develop gender action plans for each council.
Gender Links is also involved in training on Gender, Elections and the Media, in all of the SADC countries holding elections, through newsroom training as well as training existing and aspiring women parliamentarians and councillors.
From Action Plans to Centres of Excellence for Gender Mainstreaming in Local Government 
The centres of excellence for gender mainstreaming concept is a follow up to the gender and local government research, strategies and Gender and GBV action plans roll-out that have been taking place from 2007 - 2010 across municipalities in the SADC region that Gender Links has been working with. This follow up concept seeks to ensure that key councils are identified across the region and worked with very closely in their process of getting gender on their council's agenda. This will take place through sustained interventions that bring together policy, implementation, capacity building through-on-the-job training, monitoring and evaluation and the annual sharing of good practices at the annual Gender Justice and Local Government Summit.
The approach builds on experience that GL has gained over several years in working with media houses on developing and implementing gender policies and action plans through a six stage processes, as well as several years collaboration with the City of Johannesburg on its gender audit, policy and gender mainstreaming programme. The approach also seeks to develop synergy in GL programme work by focusing various projects from our SADC Gender Protocol, governance, media and justice programmes in specific localities. These include: including the GBV and local government action plans; on-the-job training for women in politics; village workshops on the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development and media literacy. Working closely with the local government associations with whom we have close links, we will seek to mobilize resources and create multiplier effects from the initial 100 councils in at least ten countries that we work with. Click here to view the concept paperon the centres of excellence for gender mainstreaming at local level.

source: genderlinks

No comments:

Post a Comment

Violence against women is a worldwide yet still hidden problem. Freedom from the threat of harassment, battering, and sexual assault is a concept that most of us have a hard time imagining because violence is such a deep part of our cultures and lives.