Context and Theory of Change
Southern Africa must confront a myriad of challenges as it attempts to address the needs and aspirations of its 100 million people, 40% of whom live in extreme poverty with per capita incomes ranging from $256 per annum in Zimbabwe to $5099 in Mauritius. The greatest challenge of the Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) continues to be the need to build a life for its people free from poverty, disease, human rights abuses, gender inequality and environmental degradation. The majority of those affected by these conditions are women. Across the globe, there is a consensus that gender equality is integral to economic growth and poverty eradication.
The SADC Protocol on Gender and Development (SGP) provides “a roadmap to equality” for SADC member states. By implementing strategies to achieve the 28 targets in the SGP governments are increasing women’s equal access to opportunities.
GL coordinates the Southern African Gender Protocol Alliance, a coalition of 25 independently registered gender NGOs and NGO networks that successfully campaigned for the elevation of the SADC Declaration on Gender and Development into a more legally binding Protocol in August 2008 soon after the start of this project. This unique sub‐regional instrument brings together all existing commitments to gender equality and sets specific targets, indicators and timeframes for achieving these. Unlike the Declaration, these targets will have a legally binding force.