South African Development Community's Gender Unit - SADC
The SADC Gender Unit was established in June 1996 following SADC Member States’ initiatives to mainstream gender perspectives and concerns in their policies, plans and programmes.
The Gender Unit is responsible for advising on matters pertaining to gender mainstreaming and empowerment strategies and providing strategic direction in gender mainstreaming to the SADC Secretariat and Member States. With Gender Mainstreaming the Unit is responsible for infusing the perspectives and strategic needs of both women and men in policy and programme planning, formulation and implementation. The Gender Unit also promotes the full and equal participation of women and men in all decision making processes at all levels through gender analysis to identify access variations and differential impacts on women and men of all projects, programmes and policies.
SADC uses a strategy to ascertain that women and men are equal participants and beneficiaries of the development processes coordinated at the regional and national levels, to ensure that a gender perspective permeates the entire SADC Programme of Action and Community Building Initiative.
The six priority areas of the SADC Gender Programme are:
- Policy Development and Harmonization
- Gender Mainstreaming
- Institutional Strengthening and Capacity Building
- Women’s Empowerment Programmes including; Women’s Human Rights; Women and Girl Child Education; Violence Against Women and Children; Sexual and Reproductive Health & Rights including HIV and AIDS; Women’s Economic Empowerment; Media and Information; and Women in Politics and Decision Making
- Communication, Information Sharing and Networking
- Monitoring & Evaluation
Uniterra has been working directly with the SACD Secretariat’s Gender Unit since 2006, having posted a gender advisor to the Unit, as well as several interns. The Gender Unit engages in advocacy at the national, regional (15 countries) and international levels. Providing the same training to ministers, permanent secretaries and civil society groups selected for their dynamism is seen as advantageous for the region.