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SADC Commemorates International Women’s Day

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) marked International Women’s Day with a resolute call to action. 

Against the backdrop of global agendas and regional aspirations, the SADC reiterated its dedication to advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment, recognizing them not only as fundamental human rights but also as catalysts for progress and prosperity.

Under the theme “Invest in Women; accelerate progress,” echoing the United Nations’ clarion call for gender equality, the SADC emphasized the critical role of investing in women as a linchpin for building inclusive societies. 

Highlighting the imperative to address poverty, strengthen institutions, and foster gender-responsive financing, the SADC underscored its commitment to transformative action in key areas.

Amidst celebrations of the remarkable strides achieved towards gender parity, the SADC acknowledged the persistent challenges faced by women, exacerbated by the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, conflict, climate change, and gender-based violence. However, optimism permeated the commemoration as the SADC outlined a roadmap for sustainable progress.

First and foremost, the SADC emphasized the translation of commitments into tangible action, urging the allocation of adequate human and financial resources to support gender equality initiatives. Embracing evidence-based interventions and leveraging best practices, the SADC pledged to address entrenched gender inequalities effectively.

Crucially, the SADC underscored the importance of transforming social norms and practices that impede the advancement of women’s rights. Emphasizing equal access to quality education and engaging men and boys as allies, the SADC charted a course towards inclusive empowerment. Moreover, the SADC emphasized the power of partnerships and collaboration in driving

meaningful change. By fostering alliances with civil society organizations, the private sector, development partners, and non-state actors, the SADC committed to sharing resources, knowledge, and expertise to accelerate progress towards gender equality.

As the commemoration drew to a close, the SADC renewed its unwavering commitment to creating an enabling environment for the implementation of gender equality priorities. With a pledge to strengthen partnerships and embrace innovative approaches, the SADC envisioned a future where no one is left behind—a future characterized by inclusivity, justice, and prosperity.

In a final flourish of solidarity, the SADC extended warm wishes to all, celebrating International Women’s Day with a message of hope and determination: Together, we can create a more inclusive, just, and prosperous society where the empowerment of women knows no bounds.

Happy Women’s Day! #IWD2024

Additional source: SADC Secretariat

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