BY MOSES MUGUGUNYEKI
A non-governmental organisation championing equality and justice in Southern Africa, Gender Links, spent the better part of this month celebrating 20 years of service with a number of events that included taking stock and reflecting on its programmes, honouring gender champions and highlighting impact, among others.
Over the two decades Gender Links, which operates in 15 countries throughout Southern Africa, has grown into an internationally recognised force in promoting women’s rights.
“Gender Links has spearheaded the development, adoption and revision of the Southern African Development Community (Sadc) Protocol on Gender and Development. It has developed multiple programmes that have reached over 200 000 people including politicians, activists, community members, media, survivors of violence and more,” Gender Links said in a statement.
To commemorate its anniversary, Gender Links held a series of events during the month which included hosting the South Africa Women, Voice and Leadership Summit on March 3 and 4 in that country.
The summit culminated in an awards ceremony on March 8 that happened back-to-back with the International Women’s Day celebrations. The celebrations were held under the theme: Marching together for generation equality.
As part of the Gender Links celebrations, journalists from Botswana, Eswatini and Zimbabwe came together in their respective countries in learning and sharing events that included presentations of good media practices on Women’s Political Participation.
Winners went on to join the Sadc Protocol@Work summit held from March 15 to 17 which brought the winners from the 2019 and 2020 country summits together in their countries and virtually across countries.
At the summit, which culminated in the celebration of Gender Links’ 20th birthday on March 17, Zimbabwe bagged 13 awards.
A total of 30 awards were up for grabs at the summit and categories included Voice and Change GBV, Sexual and Reproductive Health Rights, Best Urban Council, Best Rural Council, Most Resourceful Council and Best Improved Performance.
Zimbabwean journalist Nduduzo Tshuma and the Chronicle’s political editor was crowned the Sadc Regional Women in Political Participation Media winner.
Several women in local governance from Zimbabwe were rewarded as well.