Gender issues should not be taken lightly – warns SADC

Gender, like many other sectors, looks so easy on the surface, but so deep when you unpack and implement, SADC ‘s Dumisani Mndzebele told a gender mainstreaming meeting in Malawi.

During the opening of the two-day gender mainstreaming in the water sector workshop, Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) Secretariat’s Program Officer in the Water Division Mr. Dumisani Mndzebele noted that in the region everybody has something to say about gender but when it comes to implementation it is not as easy as talking about it.

 “We are indeed gathered here over a vitally important issue for sustainable and impactful service provision, as we provide the water service in the improvement of the living standard of the people of the Region, and our Member States,” Mndzebele noted.

 Mr. Christopher Munikasu, SADC WRTC member and Chair and Chief Planner in the directorate of Water Resources Management; Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry in Namibia said that Namibia being the current Chair of SADC was committed to transboundary water cooperation to ensure water security and gender mainstreaming in the water programmes as outlined in the RSAP IV.

 He said that as Namibia was a water scarce country, they were taking the gender mainstreaming workshop of SADC seriously as it integrates the gender focal points in respective ministries responsible for gender machineries Experts from the Ministries responsible for gender in SADC Member States.

 He noted that member states have to plan to take the region to greater heights in order to respond effectively and efficiently on the mandate of mainstreaming gender in the water sector.

 “One has to acknowledge and appreciates the effort being made by our colleagues at SADC Secretariat’s Gender Unit for advocating the inclusion of gender mainstreaming in water projects in the RSAP IV document. The benefits derived from mainstreaming gender in the water sector outweighs the cost of spearheading gender programmes while we focus primarily on climate resilient water projects and infrastructure.”

 The main objectives of the Gender Mainstreaming in the Water Sector Workshop held in Lilongwe, Malawi were (a) to review the current status of gender mainstreaming in the water sector in the SADC region; (b) to raise awareness on the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development and its relevance to the water sector; and (c) to build capacity in gender responsive budgeting in the water sector.

 The Gender Mainstreaming in the Water Sector Workshop was held from the 11 – 12 October 2018 in Lilongwe, Malawi. The workshop was targeted at the Gender Focal Points in the Water sector, Directors in the Water sector and Gender Machinery representatives from the 16 SADC Member States.

For more information and pictures about this event, please click here.