Seychelles at SADC gender and women ministers’ meeting |01 March 2013
The Southern African Development Community (SDC) and the Mozambican government, which currently chairs the SADC, and UNWomen convened the meeting of SADC ministers responsible for gender and women’s affairs which took place in Maputo, Mozambique from February 11-14.
The meeting of ministers of the SADC region was followed by a three-day meeting of senior technical officers. This meeting also included the involvement of civil society representation from all member countries and it was hosted by Mozambique’s Minister for Women and Social Action Iolanda Cintura Seuane. The outcome of the meeting was the formulation of a SADC position paper for the 57th session of the UN Commission on the Status of Women.
Seychelles’ delegation was led by principal secretary for social affairs Linda William-Melanie. The two other members were Lungos chairperson Marie-Nella Azemia, and the special adviser for social affairs Marie-Josée Bonne.
The meeting acknowledged the SADC region’s high incidence of violence against women and girls that is interlinked to HIV and Aids and poverty.
The meeting condemned ongoing incidences of sexual violations and committed itself to initiate and advocate for high-level campaigns that address the fundamental root causes of violence against women and girls and target the family, and our communities as priority focus areas with a view to changing mindsets and attitudes.
One of the major issues raised refer to environmental challenges especially since Mozambique recently experienced the loss of many lives as a result of heavy rain and flooding associated to climatic changes.
Climate change is expected to feature strongly especially in SADC’s post 2015 agenda where it was affirmed that this is a major challenge which is affecting our region disproportionately to the rest of the world and it is exacerbated by poverty and violence against women and children. Hence, the need to ensure that climate change processes are gender responsive.
The meeting approved the proposal to develop and finalise an addendum to the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development.
The next ordinary meeting of SADC ministers responsible for gender and women’s affairs will take place in Malawi in 2014 and it will be hosted the country’s Minister for Gender and Women’s Affairs, Anitta Kalinde.