Southern Africa Politics | Economy - Development | Agriculture - Nutrition | Gender - Women | Human rights | Society
'Eliminate harmful cultural practices'
ZANIS/Times of Zambia News , 3 March
- The Southern African Development Community (SADC) has called for concerted efforts in harmonizing customary and common laws to eliminate harmful cultural practices.
The head of SADC Gender Unit, Magdeline Mathiba Madibela says it is necessary to amend constitutions in order to eliminate some existing provisions which discriminate against women.
In an interview during the just ended SADC council of ministers meeting in Lusaka, Mrs Madibela stressed the need for concerted efforts to harmonise customary and common law to the benefit of the womenfolk.
She said it was important for SADC member states to include and adopt an equity clause or Bill of Rights in the Constitution adding that all policies and programmes should mainstream a right-based approach so that all the people in the region acquire
full citizenship rights.
She further said there was need to equip national gender institutions with adequate staff to execute the gender mandate by translating declarations, conventions and protocols into action.
Mrs Madibela said member states should also ensure that adequate resources are allocated to national gender machineries both at government and civil society levels.
"There is need to strengthen the capacity of the national gender machineries while decentralization and strengthening of institutional structures and linkages at district and community levels to advance the realization of gender equality goals is one of the key necessities to empower local communities," she said.
In another development, SADC member states have been challenged to enhance their preparations if they are to reap maximum benefits from the liberalized trade being pursued by the European Commission.
The call is from the Development Partnership International Zambia (DPIZ).
Media and Strategy Coordinator of DPIZ Richard Musauka issued a statement, urging SADC member countries to act at all levels to enhance accountability in financial support from the developed world, infrastructure development as well as good public-public partnerships.
"As DPIZ, we wish to appeal to our leaders in the SADC region, particularly the ministries of commerce, to take seriously and address commitments made by the members of the World Trade Organisation in 2001 in terms of market access," said Musauka.
He said more still needed to be done towards appropriate reduction of tariffs on non agricultural products, including the reduction of tariff peaks and non tariff barriers.
Musauka added that to enhance in the Economic partnership Agreements, EPAs, developed countries should work at implementing the objective of duty-free and quota-free access to SADC exports.
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