Botswana said on Thursday that it has taken a decision to sign the revised Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Gender and Development.In a statement, the Botswana government said the protocol is a commitment of SADC Heads of State and Government in recognition of the fact that gender equality and equity is a fundamental human right.
“The Protocol therefore aims to provide for the empowerment of women; eliminate discrimination against them; and also achieve gender equality by encouraging and harmonising development and implementation of gender responsive legislation, policies and programmes,” reads the statement.
It said the decision to sign comes after the review of the protocol as per Article 38 of the Protocol and Article 22 of the SADC Treaty, which sets the procedure for review.
“The Revised Protocol’s targets are more realistic, thereby taking into consideration Botswana’s concerns,” the statement said.
It added: “Furthermore, the Protocol has been harmonised with other SADC Instruments to optimize resources and avoid duplication.”
Botswana is one of two SADC countries that have not signed the gender protocol that was initially approved in 2008 and was revised in 2016. The other country is Mauritius.