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SADC ministers in Lilongwe to review gender programmes

SADC ministers in Lilongwe to review gender programmes

MINISTERS responsible for gender and women's affairs from the Southern African Development Community (SADC) member states are meeting in Lilongwe, Malawi today to review progress on the implementation of gender and development programmes in the region.

A statement availed to the media by SADC said that the meeting will be chaired by Malawi's Minister for Gender, Community Development and Social Welfare, Patricia Kaliati.

It said that the ministers will track the progress in implementation of the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development, through the review of the 2022 SADC Gender and Development Monitor on Women in Politics and Decision-making.

The review focuses specifically on Article 12 on Representation, Article 13 on Participation, and Article 5 on Special Measures of the Protocol.

As part of implementing the SADC Regional Multi-dimensional Women Economic Empowerment Programme (RMD-WEEP) 2020-2030, the ministers will review the progress on the SADC Industrialisation and Women's Economic Empowerment Project (IWEE Project),

The project aimed at increasing women-owned businesses and female entrepreneurs’ participation in value addition for selected sectors and regional value chains (RVCs).

In addition, the Ministers will review implementation of the SADC Strategy and Framework of Action for Addressing Gender-based Violence (GBV) including thorough assessment of the status of GBV in the SADC region.

The meeting of ministers responsible for gender and women's affairs was preceded by the meeting of SADC Senior Officials for Gender and Women's Affairs which was held on June 7 to 8 this year.

President Samia Suluhu Hassan has on various occasions reaffirmed the commitment of the government to promote gender parity and women economic empowerment in all spheres.

The Head of State also vowed to appoint women to various leadership positions provided they have unquestionable integrity, competence and required education level.

President Samia pledged to set a good environment that allows and encourages women to engage in various economic activities.

The third National Five-Year Development Plan (FYDP III) has outlined the importance of gender equality and women empowerment in stimulating the socio-economic development of the country.

The crucial aspects have also been featured in the Tanzania Long Term Perspective Plan (LTPP) 2011/12-2025/26 in the realisation of the Tanzania Development Vision 2025 of becoming a semi-industrialised economy, with a high level of human development and improved livelihoods for all.

In the FYDP III document, the government has vowed to continue implementing programmes to empower women by increasing economic opportunities, building their business capacity, access to capital, markets and credit facilities.

It is clearly outlined in the FYDP III that women participation in various spheres is critical in ensuring sustainable development in achieving gender equality and eliminating gender-based violence.

Implementation of the FYDP II between 2015/16 and 2019/20, contributed to the disbursement of a total of 63.5bn/- to at least 938,802 women entrepreneurs in various Local Government Authorities in the country.

The government also continued to provide soft loans to women entrepreneurs through the Women’s Window established at the TPB Bank.

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Author: DAILY NEWS Reporter

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