SA Deputy Minister of International Relations and Cooperation Hon. Nomaindiya Mfeketo (left) with the SALO Director, Ms Joan Brickhill (right) at the recently held dialogue on the “AU Agenda 2063 and UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development: Access to Justice for Women in Conflict Situations” in Pretoria. The dialogue was co-hosted by SALO and the Department of International Relations and Cooperation.
Africa has experienced a significant increase in women’s participation in politics. Yet the continent still faces many challenges regarding gender equity, particularly around access to justice for women in conflict situations. In the spirit of the African Union’s declaration of 2015 as the Year for Women’s Development and Empowerment, this workshop brought into focus the endeavour of ensuring the liberation and empowerment of women in line with the African Union’s 2063 Vision.
The workshop interrogated Goal 16 on ‘peaceful and inclusive societies’ and access to justice in the recently adopted post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It did so against the backdrop of the realities experienced by women in conflict situations.
READ POLICY DIALOGUE REPORT HERE: Policy Dialogue Report No. 50 – UN Agenda 2030: Access to Justice for Women in Conflict Situations, Thursday 26 November 2015, Pretoria
The event was co-hosted by SALO and DIRCO
South Africa has done well since 1994 in terms of Gender equality and empowerment of women, in politics and areas of decision making. South Africa ranks top ten in the world on women in politics, with 40% women in parliament and 41% in cabinet respectively. There have also been improvements in education and capacity building but has had challenges somewhat in terms of implementation of regional and international protocols on women, peace and security including implementation of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 1325 (UNSCR 1325). This is due to the fact that
There has been a gap in terms of the generational transfer of skills and knowledge in terms of the gender struggle. There is a need to for more awareness about some of these global processes and protocols. South Africa has done a lot post 1994 in terms of active engagements on gender, peace and security and reflecting a gender balance in terms of women in key political leadership positions. Mediation training is now taking place, which is an unique initiative in the continent. Other Tools mentioned include South Africa Defence Policy SADPA, the African Union Maputo Protocol on the rights of African women, and we can draw on these to advance the cause of women in peace processes. It is important to explore and implement measures that exist and popularise these issues until they are known and understood by all. It is important to also assess the African Union (AU) impact on leveling the continental landscape.
Read full Policy Brief here: POLICY BRIEF – No 8 of 2015
This workshop took place in the context of National Disability Rights Awareness Month in South Africa, and following the adoption of the new SDGs which seek to be more inclusive than the former MDGs, “leaving no one behind”.
The dialogue explored the possible impact of the new SDGs on people with disabilities in Africa, especially migrants, with regards to advocating for greater access to health, education, and economic empowerment.
On the right: Chair: Ms Litlhare Rabele, SALO; left: Mr Brian Muziringa, Chairperson, Migrants Disabled Rights Networking Movement
Rev. Mohlakane, The South African Council of Churches
Within the context of the new SDGs’ vision to ‘leave no one behind’, this dialogue explored the myriad challenges facing LGBTI migrants who have left their home countries seeking asylum in SA. It provided a space for dialogue between LGBTI migrants from across the continent, South African government representatives and members of civil society, within a rights framework.
In an effort to contribute towards a successful outcome of the Valletta Summit the Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung (FES) the Southern African Liaison Office (SALO) and European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) co-hosted a pre-summit seminar in Addis Ababa on the 21st of October 2015. The seminar brought together relevant representatives from the African Union (AU), the EU Delegation to the AU, Representatives of European and African states, UN organisations, experts and civil society organisations to discuss this topic in an informal and constructive manner.
This seminar report provides a summary of key outcomes and recommendations from the discussions. It does not represent the views of co-hosting organisations.
Burundi experiencing ‘deep political crisis’ with hundreds dead since April, Security Council told
Senior United Nations officials today warned the UN Security Council that Burundi is at a critical juncture, experiencing a deep political crisis and rapidly escalating violence with serious implications for the country’s stability and ethnic harmony, as bodies are regularly dumped in the streets of the capital, Bujumbura, and thousands of people flee the bloodshed.
Noting that in Bujumbura the situation is very tense, the UN Under-Secretary-General for Political Affairs, Jeffrey Feltman, told the Council that several neighbourhoods, especially those perceived to have opposed the President’s re-election for a third term in July, experience nightly exchanges of gunshots and grenade explosions.
France urges Burundi to cooperate with regional mediation efforts
France has ramped up the pressure on Burundian stakeholders with a Security Council Draft Resolution that warns the government to cooperate with regional mediation efforts and for all parties to reject violence. With tension escalating, fear of a return to an ethnically based civil war in the country, the draft warns of Council’s intention to consider additional measures including targeted sanctions whose actions and statements impede the search for a peaceful solution.
The 7553 meeting of the Security Council has been called to order. After an urgent session of this council where UN officials again warned of a Burundi on the brink, France’s Deputy Permanent Representative Alexis Lamek circulated what could be the firmest response from the UN body to date.
African military exercise ‘tremendous success’ – Zuma
President Jacob Zuma hailed a joint military exercise held in Lohatlha, Northern Cape, as a tremendous success as the continent moves towards peace and stability.
The exercise, which ran for nearly two weeks, saw thousands of soldiers from the SA National Defence Force (SANDF) partake in military exercises with others from Botswana, Namibia, Zimbabwe, Tanzania and Zambia.
In a speech prepared for delivery at the close of the drills, Zuma said it was a demonstration in Africa’s investment in peace.
African Union urged to hasten troop deployment to Burundi
The African Union’s peace and security council on Saturday recommended the organisation hasten plans for sending troops to Burundi if violence in the central African nation worsens and called for investigations into rights abuses there.
The council also said the union would impose sanctions against anyone who incited further violence in Burundi.
Japan avails $15-million grant to Zimbabwe
The Japan International Cooperation Agency has extended a $15 million grand to Zimbabwe, the first substantial commitment in 15 years, for the development of the 674 hectares Nyakomba irrigation scheme in Nyanga.
JICA is an agency that coordinates official development assistance for the government of Japan. It is chartered with assisting economic and social growth in developing countries, and promotion of international cooperation.
Zimbabwe police break up MDC rally, detain MP, supporters
At least 17 supporters of the Zimbabwean opposition Movement for Democratic Change were detained in Harare when police broke up an unsanctioned rally, a spokesperson for the party said Monday.
The rally was due to be held in the Harare South area on Sunday but police only notified the MP for the district Eric Murai that it could not go ahead late on Saturday, said Obert Gutu.
Gutu said in a telephone interview: “It’s very difficult for us to communicate with our supporters to tell them that the rally’s off, because as you know we have no access to the public media.
Ominous Signs Zimbabwe Headed For Violent 2018 Election
There are ominous signs that Zimbabwe’s next general election in 2018 will again be violent following an escalation of inter-party political violence between Zanu-PF and the opposition Movement for Democratic Change.
In an interview with Voice of America, MDC spokesman Obert Gutu said the developments are worrying. “We are seriously concerned by the spike in incidents of political violence. The next election is only coming in 2018 and there are increasing cases of violence, what happens as we get close to the election?.. People will be murdered.”
Voice of America
LET US GIVE GOOD EDUCATION TO OUR CHILDREN
The community should stand together for the children so that Swaziland can be counted as a rich country as well, maybe by 2022 we will have taken great strides. Parents should lead by example when it comes to their children. Education is the most powerful tool one can use to change the world or any country.
Why are so many young school-going children involved in criminal activities in Swaziland? Children are stealing from their own homesteads why? The upbringing of any child is very important. This comfort zone has destroyed many people.
Times of Swaziland
MPS OPPOSE REGISTRATION OF KIDS USING MUMS’ SURNAMES
Members of Parliament (MPs) have expressed outrage at the fact that unmarried women can register children using their maiden surname.
The legislators labelled this as unSwazi and said chiefs were not even aware that single women were now allowed to do this.
This was during a Motion without Notice moved by Manzini North MP Jan Sithole, who once again moved a motion that Birth, Marriage and Death certificates should be issued at Tinkhundla centres instead of the headquarters in Mbabane, which was much against the decentralisation policy.
Manzini South MP Owen Nxumalo submitted that he had been summoned by his chief to explain all the changes that the Ministry of Home Affairs was seemingly effecting.
“Now they want children to be registered in their mothers’ surnames and they are actually allowing this yet such changes were never communicated to us or to the chiefs,” said Nxumalo.
Times of Swaziland
After 40 Years, Time to End the Occupation of Western Sahara
This November marks forty years since 350,000 Moroccans crossed into the Western Sahara as part of the so-called “Green March.” November 6 is a dark day for the Saharawi people, because it marks Morocco’s illegal military invasion and partial occupation of Western Sahara.
In October of 1975, the International Court of Justice had totally rejected Morocco’s claim of sovereignty over Western Sahara, and having failed to win the legal argument, Moroccan King Hassan II responded with force. He ordered the Green March, a civilian invasion, which was reinforced with an escort of 20,000 Moroccan soldiers.
Algeria unwavering in support of Western Sahara independence
Algerian Ambassador to Namibia Sid Ali Abdelbari has reiterated Algeria’s support for the independence of Western Sahara.
“Its people deserve to decide freely on their own fate through a free and fair referendum, in accordance with the principle of self-determination,” Abdelbari said at the occasion to mark the 61st anniversary of the national day of Algeria, held in Windhoek last week.
He said that because the Western Sahara issue is a decolonization problem that has been thwarted, it is the duty of the international community, the African Union and the United Nations (UN) to exert all possible efforts to enable the Sahrawi people to express themselves on their future, in accordance with international law and the relevant resolutions of the UN.