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                                News                  GENDER EDUCATION AND TRAINING NETWORK                                      September 2002

                  World stands challenged
     World poverty – like global
     environmental change and a
     viable order of states – is both
     a political and a scientific chal-
     lenge, writes Prof B.C. NINDI in
     this article contextualising the
     World Summit on Sustainable

            orld events during the closing
     W      years of the 1980s and early
     1990s have done a good deal to turn
     our basic perceptions of the shape
     and future of the planet and its
     people upside down. Though scarcely
     amounting to the “end of history”
     proclaimed in some quarters, the
     abrupt conclusion of the Cold War
     and the dissolution of the Soviet        environmental catastrophe, which we        and impose a sufficient measure of
     state involved a more dramatic trans-    have become accustomed to but can          collective survival strategy. To an
     formation of the basic parameters of     no longer ignore.                          important extent, even now after
     world power and ideology than               The challenge of world poverty, like    witnessing the palpable success of a
     anyone expected this side of the mil-    that of global environmental change        few poor Asian countries raising
     lennium. Together with the increas-      and the construction of a minimally        themselves most of the way to
     ingly awesome signals of the             viable order in the international          “developed” status in the last two
     non-sustainability of current patterns   system of states, is both a political      generations, we do not know how to
     of global resource use, these new        and a scientific challenge. Perhaps        bring about development and put an
     factors in the international scene       more clearly than the other issues,        end to mass poverty. We do know
     have reshaped the context in which       the problem of sustainable develop-        though that it is not just a matter of
     we have to confront the other chal-      ment is not one to which there are         trying. The challenge to the under-
     lenge to the future of the Earth. That   obvious solutions – because of             standing is every bit as real as the
     is, the continuing and, in some          vested interests. It is not a matter of    challenge to the will.
     respects, growing patterns of prob-      it being there for the taking if only we     Among those countries that have
     lems of human misery and localised       can build up sufficient “political will”   democratised as part of the “Third

p5      Will summit help                                                                 p15 Getnet initiates
        poor and landless?
                                                      FOCUS          ON:
                                                                                             critical local
                                                  SUSTAINABLE                                government
p6      Eighth Congress                                                                      indaba
        on Women                                  DEVELOPMENT
                   Wave” are some with extreme             A number of observations in       ces, capital, credit, technology
                   levels of economic inequality.       development policy tend to           and other means of production,
                   South Africa is one of these         show that policy limits women’s      as well as wage differentials,
                   countries and it holds the unde-     access to basic agricultural input   contribute to impeding the eco-
                   sirable record of having the most    and other resources. Oppor-          nomic progress of women.
                   unequal distribution of income.      tunities are closed to them            There are considerable differ-
                         Given that incomes in          when access to inputs, capital,      ences in women’s and men’s
  Policies do little     South Africa are dis-          the market and the political         access to opportunities to exert
to help a core
section of the
                         tributed very unequally, it
                         might be expected that
                                                        arena is blocked. For example, in
                                                        rural South Africa the disparity
                                                                                             power over economic structures
                                                                                             in South Africa and in other
                         the establishment of rep-      between those who farm and           poor countries. Discrimination
poor in South            resentative      democracy     those who receive credit is due      in education and training, pro-
Africa – the             would result in the adop-      to institutional barriers and        motion and horizontal mobility
unemployed, and          tion of redistributive poli-   social constraints, including the    practices, inflexible working
especially house-        cies. Yet overall inequality   legacy of apartheid. An addi-        conditions and lack of access to
                         has not declined since the     tional constraint to female          productive resources continue to
holds in which
                         first democratic elections     household heads’ access to           restrict employment, other
no-one works.
                  ’      in 1994. This situation
                         consequently has serious
                                                        credit is the fragmentation of
                                                        their holdings, or their small
                                                                                             opportunities and mobility for
                                                                                             women, all of which makes their

‘ Policies remain
opaque, making it sustainable development,
unlikely that poor
                         implications for gender,

                         the environment.
                                                        farm size.
                                                           Insufficient   attention
                                                        gender analysis has meant that
                                                                                             participation stressful.
                                                                                               The United Nations set an
                                                                                             impressive set of development
                            The electoral and party     women’s contribution and con-        targets at the September 2000
citizens will use        system provides uneven         cerns too often remain ignored       Millennium Summit, most of
their vote to effect pressure for redistribution.       in economic structures such as       which focused on halving the
the necessary            The fact that poor South       financial markets and institu-       number of people living in
                         Africans have the vote         tions, as well as in labour          extreme poverty. A major issue
          ’              ensures that some areas of
                         public policy do indeed
                   help the poor. The post-
                                                        markets, economic and social
                                                        infrastructure, families and
                                                        households. There is scope for
                                                                                             emerging ahead of the WSSD is
                                                                                             whether additional targets
                                                                                             should be established, mostly
                   apartheid government not only        many remedial policies and pro-      relating to environmental pro-
                   inherited a surprisingly redis-      grammes and enhancing the            tection. Not everyone seems to
                   tributive set of social policies     effectiveness of policies.           agree that this should be done.
                   but has made changes that               Although many women have          Conflicting interests at the
                   entail even more redistribution.     advanced in economic struc-          international level do come out
                   These policies do little however     tures, for the majority of           clearly.
                   to help a core section of the        women, particularly those who
                   poor in South Africa: the unem-      face additional barriers, continu-
                   ployed, and especially house-        ing obstacles have hindered their
                   holds in which no-one works.         ability to achieve economic
                   Other public policies serve to       autonomy and secure sustain-
                   disadvantage this marginalised       able livelihoods for themselves
                   constituency: the labour market      and their dependants. Women
                   and other economic policies          are active in a variety of eco-
                   serve to steer the economy           nomic areas through volun-
                   down a growth path that shuts        tarism, which they often
                   out many of the unskilled and        combine with wage labour, sub-
                   unemployed. The workings of          sistence farming and fishing and
                   these policies remain opaque,        involvement in the informal
                   making it unlikely that poor citi-   sector. However, legal and cus-
                   zens will use their vote to effect   tomary barriers to owning or
                   the necessary reforms.               accessing land, natural resour-

2                            The views expressed in this newsletter are not necessarily those of Getnet

                                                                        renewable resource because
                                                                        they are heavily subsidised. Oil-
                                                                        producing countries oppose the
                                                                        proposal, arguing that if renew-
                                                                        able forms of energy are pro-
                                                                        moted their countries should be
                                                                        compensated for losses in
                                                                        revenue. Some observers assert
                                                                        that the success or failure of the
                                                                        conference could be determined
                                                                        by the US, which is rejecting all
                                                                        demands even from the
                                                                        European Union that binding
                                                                        development targets be set and
                                                                        clear programmes of action be
                                                                        agreed to.
                                                                          These differences will not be
                                                                        resolved easily but the summit
                                                                        may offer a platform for the
                                                                        debate to start implementation.
                                                                        After the Bali meeting a number
   Those opposed to additional     strong environmentally con-          of NGOs called on the UN sec-
targets     argue     that   the   scious civil lobby. But concern is   retary general to raise the politi-
Millennium Summit’s goals          growing that there is a hidden       cal stakes to stop the summit
require formidable efforts in      agenda to the push for environ-      turning into “Rio minus
themselves, and that the world     mental issues to gain the ascen-     10”. Clear targets and            These develop-
should concentrate on meeting
these rather than on making
new commitments. These coun-
                                   dancy at the summit.
                                     The fear is that the EU could
                                   use disagreement around addi-
                                                                        timetables for preventing
                                                                        further     environmental        ‘
                                                                                                       ments and
                                                                        damage are needed. Ten disagreements
tries, led by the United States,   tional environmental targets to      years after the Rio have serious
are also concerned that unnec-     manoeuvre itself out of a pledge     summit which first put consequences
essary emphasis is being put on    it made at the World Trade           the environment on the among the poor
the summit to ratify the Kyoto     Organisation meeting in Doha to      global agenda, the main
Protocol, which deals with         dismantle trade barriers. Europe                                    in South Africa,
                                                                        issues        at        the
climate control and the emission   is notorious for its protectionist   Johannesburg summit, mostly for
of green house gases. Those        measures and policies subsidis-      also known as “Rio Plus female-headed
opposed to a firm target, for      ing its farmers to the tune of
example, will be happy to settle
for a commitment that says the
                                   more than R12 billion a day.
                                   These developments and dis-
                                                                        10”, will be poverty and households.
                                                                        the environment, energy
                                                                        policy, water, globalisa-
                                                                                                          Differences will
number of people without sani-
tation should be “dramatically
                                   agreements have serious conse-
                                   quences among the poor in
                                   South Africa, mostly for female-
                                                                        tion and sustainable
                                                                        development. The sum- not be resolved
                                                                        mit is likely to waffle its easily but the
   Those wanting additional        headed households.                   way through empty summit may offer
targets, among them members          The     proposed      additional   statements without firm a platform for the
of the European Union, also        targets are around sanitation,       targets or implementa-
want the Kyoto Protocol to be      energy subsidies, renewable                                         debate to start
                                                                        tion measures to save the
endorsed. They argue that only
when there are commitments to
firm targets will the world con-
                                   energy, waste and pollution. On
                                   energy subsidies the call is for
                                   developed countries to phase
                                                                        planet from environmen- implementation.
                                                                        tal disaster. Without firm
                                                                        targets, finance and enforcement
centrate on meeting them. It is    out environmentally harmful          mechanisms the Earth summit
understandable        why    EU    subsidies, so cutting the use of     threatens to be no more than
members should support the         fossil fuels which pollute the       hot air.
lobby for additional environmen-   atmosphere and promoting
tal targets. Europe has a tough    clean forms of renewable energy.     Professor Nindi is head of the
regulatory regime to protect the   Critics argue that those fossil      sociology department at the
environment, the result of a       fuels are only cheaper than          University of the North                              3
                                                            GENDER POLICY

                    Sustaining poverty not development
                    BY MOHAU PHEKO                     What sort of development are         example, produce sugar, corn,
                                                       we sustaining? Is this notion of     coffee, cotton, tea and many
                      here are many opportunities      sustainable development a            other products, yet the prices of
                   T  and challenges for women
                 in the World Summit on Sus-
                                                       context that can promote
                                                       gender equality?
                                                                                            these products have declined
                                                                                            steadily in terms of the way
                 tainable Development (WSSD).             The summit chairperson’s text     they are traded. It is not the
                 Perhaps it is worth reflecting on     raises a number of concerns:         producers who set the prices,
                 what our forebears had in mind           • The concept of sustainable      but the stock exchanges in
                 when they conceptualised              development as framed by the         London and New York. There is
                 freedom and emancipation for          WSSD repositions development         no access for women farmers to
                 the African people.                   perspectives within economic         these institutions and women
                   The word most commonly              globalisation. This is problematic   have no power to negotiate the
                 associated with development           for women because research is        price of these products. The
                 during decolonisation and the         showing that women have expe-        returns on their products in
                 struggle to destroy apartheid,        rienced globalisation more nega-     monetary terms are not suffi-
                 was self-determination. What          tively than any other sector of      cient to sustain livelihoods or
                 has happened to this discourse?       society. There is increasing femi-   bring about development.
                 What is the difference between        nisation of poverty and increasing     The repositioning of develop-
                 sustainable development and           flexibility of labour among          ment by the WSSD also creates a
                 self-determination? It is critical    women, with more women enter-        relocation of development issues
                 to reflect on this in order to        ing the informal sector. The pri-    for the United Nations. The
                 locate the gender perspectives in     vatisation of services like water,   World Bank and the World Trade
                 the summit.                           electricity, healthcare and educa-   Organisation are taking over the
                           Self-determination is the   tion has increased rather than       development agenda as we once
                        right to determine our         reduced women’s work as more         knew it. Within the new trend of
  Some people call own future, to shape and
this idealism and       nurture it in ways that
are sceptical about reflect our desires, goals
                                                       people fall through the social
                                                       security safety net. All of this
                                                       adds up to a novel form of sus-
                                                                                            global governance, WTO in par-
                                                                                            ticular is attempting to take on
                                                                                            issues of environment, labour
attaining such          and aspirations as African     tainability that sustains rather     and agriculture, to name a few.
                        people. Self-determination     than eradicates poverty and sus-     In the meantime the World Bank
              ’         opens the space for us to
                        innovate, experiment with
                 new ideas and fail – and from our
                                                       tains debt relief rather than pro-
                                                       viding debt cancellation.
                                                          • The chairperson’s text rein-
                                                                                            is whittling away the power of
                                                                                            the state through their policy
                                                                                            advice. It is advising countries to
                 failures reconceptualise our          terprets sustainable develop-        privatise basic social services by
                 destiny until it fulfils the vision   ment within the neo-liberal          introducing user fees for health-
                 we have as a people. The vision       trade paradigm and the liber-        care and education, and to sell
                 and hope is of preserving the sky     alised trade system. This against    water, electricity and telecom-
                 and the land, and placing ade-        the background of Africa experi-     munications to the private
                 quate food on the table for           encing the worst terms of trade,     sector. Using the efficiency argu-
                 everyone not just a few; physical,    for example, industrialised coun-    ment, they are convincing gov-
                 mental and spiritual security and,    tries with 15 percent of the         ernments that the state has no
                 above everything, a peaceful          world population, control 68.4       capacity to provide basic services
                 stable environment where every-       percent of global trade.             and that this function should be
                 body can earn a living. Some             • Developing countries with       taken over by the private sector.
                 people call this idealism and are     75 percent of the world popula-      Their argument is that the
                 sceptical about attaining such        tion control 27.5 percent of         private sector has a tradition of
                 equilibrium.                          global trade. Africa’s share of      running business more efficiently
                   Sustainable development is a        this is 1.6 percent, with 11         than governments and that gov-
                 new term. It takes on different       percent of the world’s popula-       ernments are corrupt. This dys-
                 nuances depending on who’s            tion on the continent. Africa        functional ideology of placing
4                articulating the concept. How
                 do women fit into this agenda?
                                                       produces the bulk of raw materi-
                                                                                            To page 14
                                                       als in the world. Women, for

                 Will poor and landless
                 benefit from summit?
Only when enough people              ments gave presentations to the      domestic abuse. Aside from
begin to work for a new              panel set up by the SA Human         extreme abuses, violence and
economic order based on              Rights Commission.                   deaths, the tragedy is that
mutual collaboration for the           As I prepared and made a pre-      “normal” conditions on farms
                                     sentation based on the experi-       involve workers getting less than
benefit of all, will sustain-
                                     ences of the Nkuzi Development       a dollar a day for very hard work.
able development become              Association in working on land       And at the end of a long day’s
a real possibility, writes           reform issues, I was reminded        work many still go to sleep
MARC WEGERIF                         yet again of the misery of peo-      hungry in shacks, cattle sheds
                                     ple’s lives and how little we and    and even pigsties.
  n July I spent a day at hearings   other well-intentioned struc-           During the lunch break and
I into human rights violations in
farming communities which
                                     tures like the Human Rights
                                     Commission are managing to do
                                                                          after the hearings numerous
                                                                          people approached my colleague
were held at Regorigile, a town-     for the most vulnerable in our       and I for assistance with a range
ship outside the small mining        society. On the farms we see the     of cases. Some families are being
town of Thabazimbi in Limpopo        continued violation of almost        evicted from a farm, where they
province.                            every right contained in the Bill    live and worked, to make way
  Regorigile is a typical town-      of Rights of our Constitution. I     for a game park, a park they will
ship with dusty roads and a few      am saddened when reminded of         never be able to afford to visit.
new tarred roads, built since        the death of two small children      So some elephants from the
1994. It has some old township       in separate accidents on just        Kruger National Park will have a
houses, a couple of large new        one farm in the last five years.     new home, but the workers
houses belonging to the more         Their mothers were not given         don’t know where they will go
affluent members of the com-         maternity leave and in order to      and have even less of an idea of
munity, many one-roomed RDP          try to survive had to return to      how they will support
(Reconstruction and Develop-         work, endangering themselves         themselves. A person            On the farms we
ment Programme) houses –
each less than 30 square metres
in size – and a sprawling infor-
                                     and their children.
                                       This memory is made more
                                     painful by the fact that no-one
                                                                          from an informal settle-
                                                                          ment wonders if we can    ‘    see the continued
                                                                          help stop the sewage that violation of almost
mal settlement, occupied mostly      has been brought to justice for      overflows      from      the every right con-
by people evicted from farms in      the senseless ending of those        Thabazimbi        sewerage tained in the Bill
the area over the last few years.    young lives, nor have we             system and runs through of Rights.
  Thabazimbi depends on exten-
sive coal mining and the mines
are the only significant employers
                                     managed to get any kind of
                                     compensation for the parents.
                                     Worse still, the conditions that
                                                                          their community.
                                                                             The stories go on and
                                                                          much as we have had some suc-
in the area other than farmers.      led to the children’s deaths still   cesses there are so many other
The coal reserves are expected to    prevail – and not only on the        cases where we have not been
last for merely another eight        farm in question. We find chil-      able to help.
years and then the town will         dren forced to work in the home         I am just as confident that
surely die. The Limpopo province     looking after younger siblings, or   whatever fine words govern-
has a Human Development Index        in the fields, by parents who        ments and elite NGOs come up
comparable to that of Zimbabwe       cannot support their families        with at the end of the World
and Namibia. Only 22 percent of      without this help. In addition to    Summit on Sustainable Devel-
the adult population have formal     suffering all the same abuses as     opment (WSSD) there will be no
employment and 69 percent live       male farm workers, women are         meaningful improvement in the
in poverty.                          often paid less than male coun-      lives of the poorest of the poor
  The Regorigile Hall remained       terparts doing the same job and      and there will be no sustainable
cold, despite the hot sun            often face the brunt of the male     development. There were pro-
outside, as different organisa-      workers’ anger and frustration in    mises 30 years ago in Stockholm                5
tions and government depart-         the form of assaults and other       and more commitments made 10
                years ago in Rio de Janeiro, but      mercial farmers in extracting the       Museveni out of
                we continue to destroy the envi-      last cent of profit from the land
                ronment and build inequality          and exploiting the last drop of         tune at historic
                and poverty in the world. The         their own and other workers’
                problems are not new, they are        sweat. The workers who experi-          feminist gathering
                well known. If we rely on events      ence gross exploitation will con-
                like the WSSD and the leaders         tinue to suffer as long as farmers      Getnet board member
                sitting in them – who have            are forced to produce for profit        Amanda Gouws reports on
                proven their commitment to            within a global economy that            the Eighth Interdisciplinary
                defending the current economic        values currency and stock market
                                                                                              Congress on Women held
                order – there will continue to be     speculation above food produc-
                no real solutions. This is certain    tion. Giving birth to and nurtur-       in Uganda in late July
                because there will be no discus-      ing a child will continue to be an
                                                                                                   he Interdisciplinary Congress
                sion about any radical change to
                the current economic order.
                Instead there are plans – through
                                                      unwanted expense if people are
                                                      only valued for the contribution
                                                      they make to debt payments,
                                                                                              T    on Women was started in
                                                                                              1981 in Israel when Professor
                initiatives like the New African      company profits and government          Marilyn Safir decided that there
                Partnership and Development –         revenue. Women, who still carry         was a need for feminist scholars
                to confirm support for an             these essential responsibilities        to work across disciplines and
                economy based on never-ending         for the reproduction of society,        national boundaries. The first
                growth and capital accumulation       will remain at the bottom of the        congress in Israel was attended
                by a few.                             pecking order in this profit-driven     by only 100 scholars. The eighth
                          All businesses try to       society that cares for instant          congress held at Makerere Uni-
                        get in more money than        profits, not future generations.        versity in Kampala, Uganda from
  Land and other
natural resources
will never be safe
                        they spend and every new
                        venture is financed with
                        new debt; the banks with
                                                      Land and other natural resources
                                                      will never be safe from destruc-
                                                      tion as long as they are treated as
                                                                                              21–26 July this year was
                                                                                              attended by over 2 000 dele-
                                                                                              gates from 98 countries (many
                        their increasing grip on      commodities and valued only for         from South Africa). Previous
from destruction
                        the economy want to           the size of return on capital that      congresses were held in the
as long as they         earn interest on all the      they bring.                             United States and Costa Rica.
are treated as          debt they sell to borrow-       WSSD or no WSSD the                   The congress is held every third
                ’       ers, South Africa wants to
                        attract foreign investors
                with assurances that they can
                                                      victims of the current economic
                                                      order and their allies need to
                                                      raise awareness of the causes at
                                                                                              year and the next one will be in
                                                                                              Korea in 2005.
                                                                                                Prof Safir noted that the
                take out of the country more in       the heart of the problem, to            congress in Uganda was
                profits than they ever put in as      build organisation and act deci-        extraordinary in that it was
                an investment. All of this relies     sively for real change. Women           attended by so many politi-
                on an economy that is con-            need to be organised to assert          cians. (To my mind this was the
                stantly      growing.    Constant     their rights and ensure that            biggest problem of the confer-
                growth within the finite set of       social movements do not                 ence). Also, holding the
                physical resources available on       become a new terrain for male           meeting in Africa gave many
                our planet can never be sustain-      domination. If protest actions          scholars from the African conti-
                able. Ongoing accumulation by         and parallel events at the WSSD         nent the opportunity to attend.
                some will always be at the            can contribute to this then there         Papers were delivered in the
                expense of others and it cannot       will be some potential benefit. It      following categories: gendering
                be a base for a just and equi-        is only when enough people are          agriculture and environment;
                table distribution of resources.      acting for a new economic order         women, culture and creativity;
                   The communities that Nkuzi is      based on mutual collaboration           gender, the economy and the
                helping to claim land taken from      for the benefit of all, that the        workplace; gender and educa-
                them as a result of the racist laws   empty promises will end and             tion; gendering the family;
                of the past will only get their       sustainable development will            gender and globalisation; gender
                land back if this does not disturb    become a real possibility.              and health; gender and higher
                big business interests. Even                                                  education; gendered identities/
                those who do get their land back      Marc Wegerif is Executive Director of   construction of gender; gender,
6               will struggle to keep it if they      Nkuzi Development Association           law and human rights; women,
                cannot be as effective as com-        based in Pietersburg, Polokwane         information and the media;
                                    CONGRESS ON WOMEN

women’s movements; women,
peace and conflict; gendering
politics and governance; gender,
science      and     technology;
women’s and men’s studies; and
gendering young voices. Some of
the keynote speakers included
Amina Mama, Joy Kwesiga, Ali
Mari Tripp, Sylvia Tamale, Devaki
Jain, Judith Lorber and Bisi
Adeleye-Fayemi. Many panels
ran simultaneously and choices
had to be exercised with great
care so as not to miss important
  Book and journal launches
focused on books in the African
context and three of the impor-
tant books on Uganda that were
                                    Delegates are welcomed by dancers in Kampala
launched were Joy Kwesiga’s
Women’s Access to Higher
Education in Africa: Uganda’s       when President Museveni and         one delegate aptly remarked:
Experience; Miria Matembe’s         his wife attended the confer-       “Feminism meets nationalism
Gender, Politics and Constitution   ence, on separate days. The         and women have to step aside.”
Making in Uganda; as well as        president delivered the opening     To interrupt a keynote
The Women’s Movement in             speech on the first day of the      speaker in the middle of
                                                                                                        Autonomy and a
Uganda,       Challenges     and
Prospects by Ali Mari Tripp. Her
presentation on this book in a
                                    conference and cars were
                                    stopped and delegates searched
                                    before his arrival. He arrived in
                                                                        her speech is already
                                                                        unforgiveable. But to act diversity of strate-
                                                                        as though this is normal gies now drive
panel discussion on women’s         the middle of Amina Mama’s          procedure turns the femi- women’s move-
movements highlighted the shift     very informative keynote speech     nist principle of the “per-
that had taken place in the
women’s movement from a
                                    on “Gains and Challenges:
                                    Linking Gender Theory and
                                    Practice” and she had to put her
                                                                        sonal is political” on its
                                                                        head, or into the “politi-
                                                                                                      ments in Africa.

                                                                        cal is personal”. Presumably we
development discourse to a
push for greater advocacy in        speech on hold until all the for-   have these conferences to high-
space created by multi-party        malities around welcoming the       light women’s progress towards
democracy, increased educa-         president were concluded. The       political autonomy, not to
tional opportunities, greater       president’s opening speech was      kowtow to heads of state.
media coverage and the influ-       greatly disappointing, with him        Why is it also that a few
ence of the international           still linking women to the          keynote speakers did not turn
women’s movement. The defin-        private sphere as mothers,          up to deliver their papers and
ing characteristics of women’s      sisters and daughters and con-      many delegates were absent
movements in Africa now are         cluding with the remark that on     from the panels where they indi-
autonomy and a diversity of         a disempowered continent            cated they would give papers?
strategies to deal with women’s     everybody is disempowered.          Could the sightseeing not wait
inequality.                         Does this mean that women’s         or did they shrug this off as just
  At the same time as this con-     liberation should not be priori-    another “conference in the third
ference was happening, the          tised? When Mrs Museveni            world”? The importance of
“Know How” conference on            came to launch a book the           having this congress in Africa
women’s access to the internet      guards would not let the food       cannot be over-emphasised. It
was also taking place at            trucks in and the delegates had     provided the space to engage
Makerere and could be attended      to go without food.                 with the problems of gender in
by delegates.                          Why do the organisers of         Africa and to talk about strate-
  On the organisational side,       women’s conferences find it         gies and solutions. For those
food could not be delivered and     necessary to involve top politi-    who really care about this there                 7
there were massive traffic jams     cians in these conferences? As      was a lot to learn.

                 Perspectives from the
                 training ground
                 An overview of current issues in masculinities, local
                 government and the gender machinery as encountered
                 by Getnet’s training staff.

                 BY SUSAN HOLLAND-MUTER                   lence against women and in
                                                          curbing the HIV/Aids pandemic.
                   n the last issue of this newsletter,   Central to this process is question-
                 Iin   April, we explained that           ing men’s traditional gender identi-
                 Getnet had started the year off          ties, the construction of new
                 with a thorough review of its train-     masculinities and redressing the
                 ing programmes, resulting in new         unequal power relations between         Men and Masculinities workshop in Joh
                 materials and content in some            women and men.
                 cases. Several months down the             At the academic level, we are
                 road, we would like to share with        seeing an increasing number of
                 you some of the issues that are          intellectuals and students engag-
                 coming up in our trainings and in        ing in research and creating new
                 the relevant sectors in general.         knowledge on what gender and
                 Getnet runs three programmes:            masculinities look like in the South
                 Men and Masculinities; Gender Co-        African context.
                 ordinators; and Local Government.          However, activists and aca-
                 Each of these programmes devel-          demics are still not seriously grap-
                 ops training materials, runs work-       pling with how the discussions on
                 shops and conducts research, to          masculinities relate to gender and
                 ensure that our training materials       development debates. This has led
                 are relevant to the South African        to our analysis and policy and
                        context and speak to the          planning tools remaining largely
                        issues facing those sectors.      women-centered. It is a challenge
 Our analysis
and policy and
planning tools
                        Men and Masculinities
                          in South Africa
                                                          that we need to begin to address.

                                                          Issues from Getnet’s
                                                                                                  Local Government workshop in Franschh

                                                          masculinities programme                 to be a man. There are tensions
remain largely
                         The last decade has seen an      Getnet has been running a three-        and internal struggles as they
women-                   increasing interest and grap-    day men’s only workshop series. It      strive to continually uphold and
         ’               pling with the issues of
                         masculinities and social
                 relations of gender from a male
                                                          looks at how men have been
                                                          socialised in South Africa and at
                                                          the role culture, tradition and reli-
                                                                                                  conform to socially prescribed
                                                                                                  roles and behavioural expecta-
                                                                                                  tions. Some of the costs include
                 perspective in South Africa, both        gion plays in the creation of men’s     increased stress, health problems,
                 as an academic project and at the        identities and in the power rela-       aggression, isolation and sub-
                 level of activism.                       tions between women and men.            stance abuse.
                    In the tradition of the new men’s     The participants comment that             When participants examine the
                 movement internationally, South          they are sitting down and examin-       different kinds of power and social
                 Africa has seen the springing up of      ing their lives for the first time      power relations, they observe that
                 men’s organisations in the form of       from this perspective – and they        men also benefit from the socially
                 informal volunteer men’s forums          are astounded by what they see! A       constructed      power    relations
                 and NGOs. Men are mainly organ-          look at the different cultural and      between women and men. This is
                 ising around how to motivate             religious rituals, and the role men     often an eye-opener for partici-
                 themselves and encourage other           are expected to play in such con-       pants and they often feel
8                men in the community to look at          texts, often throws up a cost-          extremely challenged. Another
                 their role in the eradication of vio-    benefit analysis of what it means       interesting issue that emerges is

                                       change, which is obviously not an        detail what men consider to be
                                       easy task. The participants develop      their strategic and practical gender
                                       visions of a “new man” and jointly       needs and what relevance this
                                       construct mission statements             would have for Getnet’s work in
                                       which are then translated into           mainstreaming gender in organisa-
                                       practical activities to continue the     tional change processes.
                                       process of unlearning their gender         We are also planning a seminar
                                       conditioning and addressing their        early next year to bring together
                                       power in relation to women.              men’s organisations, academics
                                                                                and ex-participants to map out the
                                       Way Forward                              advances in our strategies to date
                                       These workshops are often quite          and to explore some of the key
                                       emotional and draining because           areas for future work. Such net-
                                       the men are doing work on them-          working and sharing of perspec-
                                       selves for which there is no space       tives is invaluable for consolidating
                                       in other areas of their lives. They      our efforts and creating a more
                                       often ask for follow-up support to       focused way forward.
annesburg in July                      take their individual processes
                                       forward. Getnet is looking at                Gender Co-ordinators
                                       various options, including estab-             Training Programme
                                       lishing a support network of ex-
                                       participants with the assistance of      Our Gender Co-ordinators training
                                       a person who has the skills to deal      programme is directed at male and
                                       with the deeper emotional and            female government staff in the
                                       identity issues that fall outside the    Gender Focal Units (GFUs) at
                                       scope of the workshop. Another           national and provincial level. They
                                       option is hosting a seminar series       have the task of promoting the
                                       on the workshop topics to provide        integration of gender concerns in
                                       an arena for wider discussion and        the line functions of their depart-
                                       debate on the challenges of creat-       ments. We also target NGO
                                       ing new masculinities in South           members who are responsible for
                                       Africa.                                  gender in their organisations. The
                                          What are the questions that           training consists of two five-day
                                       arise in terms of future research?       workshops. Participants are taken
                                       At the end of 2001 Getnet pro-           through the social construction of
hoek                                   duced a training guide for facilita-     gender and also look at the
                                       tors entitled “Masculinities in the      interface between gender
                                                                                                                  SA’s marvellous
 that not all men benefit equally
 from their male identity: differ-
 ences such as race, class and sexu-
                                       making of gendered identities”
                                       which outlines key concepts and
                                       tools for analysis; it also highlights
                                                                                and HIV/ Aids, poverty and
                                                                                gender-based       violence.    ‘
                                                                                                                enabling context
                                                                                Within the context of for gender equality
 ality also create inequalities and    case studies related to masculini-       gender and development falls very short in
 imbalances between men as a           ties, workplaces, organisations and      debates, they are famil-
   The workshops explore how
 these identities and power rela-
                                       institutions and looks at some of
                                       the issues in transformation.
                                       Getnet is considering making a
                                                                                iarised with gender main-
                                                                                streaming and planning
                                                                                frameworks, strategies and tech-

 tions have a direct bearing on tra-   video to show what South African         niques and they also do a gendered
 ditional conceptions of male          men are thinking or doing in the         analysis of governmental budgets.
 sexualities and the spread of         areas of identities, culture and tra-
 HIV/Aids and how the identities       dition. Such a video will also           Issues facing the sector
 also lead to violence against         reflect on the power relations           What is clear is that for gender co-
 women and other forms of gender-      between women and men and                ordinators and gender activists in
 based violence.                       how these relations are linked to        general, on paper South Africa has
   Men by this point are quite keen    the spread of HIV/Aids and gender-       a marvellous enabling context for
 to begin addressing how they can      based violence. An alternative is to     gender equality and women’s
 change and explore the different      look at the issue of men’s strategic     empowerment. The South African                      9
 ways of bringing about the desired    gender needs: to explore in more         government has ratified the
     Convention on the Elimination of
     All Forms of Discrimination
     Against Women (Cedaw) and
     adopted a Programme of Action
     emanating from the Fourth
     World Conference of Women
     held in Beijing, China. Our
     Constitution, which includes a
     commitment to equality for all
     and enshrines the country’s
     commitment to non-sexism,
     together with the plethora of leg-
     islation1, provides a positive
     environment to further our
     struggles for women’s equality.
        To translate these commit-
     ments into practice the govern-       Top and right: Participants’ roleplay at the Men and Masculinities
                                           workshop in Cape Town.
     ment has developed a gender
     policy framework (SA Gender
     Policy Framework) containing its      have led to women’s infection         cient money to ensure that the
     strategies to work towards            rates being higher than men’s,        Domestic Violence Act is
     gender equality and women’s           especially those of younger           effectively implemented and
     empowerment. However, the             women.                                enforced.
     process of establishing the              Gender-based violence has            Another issue of increasing
     gender machinery 2 has been           been characterised as a health        importance to the government
     uneven and slow. In practice, the     crisis in the country with statis-    and NGOs, is the relationship
     the GFUs are not located high         tics revealing that one in six        between gender-based violence
     enough in the governmental            women are killed by their part-       and HIV/Aids.
     hierarchy for it to have the nec-     ners and that one woman is
     essary political clout to effec-      raped every 36 seconds.               Issues from Getnet trainings
     tively fulfill its mandate. This,     Women’s organisations have a          Through experiential learning and
     coupled with the lack of an ade-      long history of organising            reflecting on their own lives par-
     quate budget and limited per-         around these issues and the           ticipants concluded that our
     sonnel, has seriously hampered a      Network on Violence Against           socialisation and the resulting
     thorough gender mainstreaming         Women has launched a number           unequal power relations between
     process at all levels of policy,      of campaigns, including the call      women and men in our society, is
     programmes and projects.              for a presidential pardon for bat-    still very alive and present in our
        In spite of the fact that South    tered women who took the lives        cultures. Although there have
     Africa rates favourably in com-       of their partners and the “every      been some changes and
     parison to other countries in         six days” campaign to promote         advances, the social values
     terms of the number of women          public awareness of violence          underpinning cultural practices
     parliamentarians (30% of MPs          against women.                        still point to the old gender order.
     are women), it is clear that             A positive gain for women has        However, women and men
     women politicians still are on an     been the Domestic Violence Act        have become more conscious of
     uneven playing field with their       and the revision of the Sexual        the need to challenge and trans-
     male counterparts.                    Offences Act. Additionally, the       form the messages they have
        On a social level, the HIV/Aids    police has made violence against      received, to unlearn our gender
     pandemic and the crisis of vio-       women and children one of five        conditioning and change the dif-
     lence against women are a direct      priority crimes and has estab-        ferent institutions in society,
     result of unequal power relations     lished a victim empowerment           including the family, the com-
     between women and men in the          programme. However, in spite of       munity, the state and the work-
     country. The social norms sur-        these positive developments,          place. Religion and culture were
     rounding women’s sexuality and        the problem of violence has not       identified as key areas to be
     their lack of power to negotiate      become part of our everyday           addressed.
10   safer sex practices, in addition to
     their biological vulnerability,
                                           public consciousness, nor has
                                           the government allocated suffi-
                                                                                   In relation to the issues of
                                                                                 gender-based violence, poverty
                                       PROGRAMME OVERVIEW

                                                   They also speak        follow the introduction to gen-
                                                 about the need for a     der issues and mainstreaming
                                                 co-ordinated national    gender. Another need is for more
                                                 gender action plan. In   specialised modules on the
                                                 the absence of such a    issues dealt with in our work-
                                                 plan the struggle for    shops.
                                                 gender equality is         In the medium term, research
                                                 being reduced to cel-    will be developed into the pro-
                                                 ebrating key dates       cesses of mainstreaming gender:
                                                 and writing reports      the impact of the gender
                                                 to comply with gov-      machinery in this regard and
                                                 ernment       commit-    progress with the integration of
                                                 ments to Cedaw and       gender in governmental
                                                 the Beijing Platform     policies, programmes and
                                                 of Action.               projects.                     There are very
                                                   After analysing the
                                                 government budget
                                                 from a gender per-
                                                                           Local Government
                                                                              and Gender
                                                                                                       ‘few councils with
                                                                                                        gender focal units
                                                 spective, participants                                 in place, let alone
                                                 are quick to point out   We ran a very successful      councils grappling
                                                 that without money,      Local Government and          with the gender
and HIV/Aids, participants           government policies will remain      Gender training with
painted a bleak picture of           just that – policies on paper, and                                 needs of their
                                                                          councillors and officials
women and men in the country,
with poor rural women bearing
the brunt of the crisis.
                                     not result in services to redress
                                     the imbalances between women
                                     and men.
                                                                          from Overstrand, Draken-
                                                                          stein, Breede Valley,
  Participants     have

surrounding the establishment
extremely critical of processes
                                       Another issue that has come
                                     up is the lack of a strong inde-
                                     pendent women’s movement in
                                                                          Breerivier and Overberg.

                                                                          mented in two phases
                                                                                                       ‘Councillors did
                                                                          The workshop was imple- get enthusiastic
                                                                                                       once they had
                                                                          and took participants
of the gender machinery. In spite    civil society and the poor rela-     through a general under- explored the
of the SA Gender Policy Frame-       tionship that exists between         standing of gender and meaning of
work pointing to the need to         women’s NGOs and sector spe-         gender issues in relation gender and could
locate Gender Focal Points           cific NGOs and the gender            to local government. The begin to grapple
(GFPs) in the Director General’s     machinery.                           gender dynamics of the
(DG) office in the different           Strategies were developed to                                    with their work
                                                                          different components of
departments, participants report     address these problems and           constructing an inte- from a gender
that DGs do not want this
responsibility.    Consequently
they find themselves in units
                                     hopefully these initiatives and
                                     many other existing efforts will
                                     begin to chip away at the chal-
                                                                          grated development plan perspective.
                                                                          (IDP) are dealt with as
                                                                          well as performance budgeting
located lower down in the            lenges facing us. Through the        for local government. We also
organisational structure, which      workshops participants also          look at the challenges that face
means they lack decision making      become equipped with analyti-        councils in improving the repre-
power to influence policies and      cal and implementation skills        sentation of women in struc-
the rolling out of governmental      which will hopefully put them in     tures and ensuring that their
programmes. Additionally, they       a position back at their work-       councils operate in a gender-
are under-resourced in terms of      places to address the challenges     sensitive fashion.
funding and staff.                   with more energy and commit-
  This situation, coupled with       ment.                                Issues facing the sector
the fact that GFPs are also                                               With regard to institutionalising
responsible for youth and people     Way Forward                          gender at local government level
with disabilities and HIV/Aids,      Getnet has identified the need to    and setting up gender machin-
seriously     undermines      any    develop an additional workshop       ery, there are very few local
attempt to ensure that gender        in this programme so that some       councils with gender focal units
issues are integrated into service   areas of the work can be             in place, let alone councils grap-
provision and internal depart-       approached in a more in-depth        pling with the gender needs of                 11
mental operations.                   manner. This workshop will           their constituents. The situation
                                              PROGRAMME OVERVIEW

     is complicated by the fact that          As with other levels of gov-       beginning to break down the idea
     the legislation does not provide       ernment, there is uneven politi-     that integrating gender was
     clear guidelines on how and            cal commitment and will in local     something that was “nice to
     when councils should integrate         government to do things differ-      have”. People instead started
     gender, both in its internal func-     ently and redress the imbalances     coming to the realisation that
     tions and procedures and in            of the past.                         gender was of central importance.
     service provision, making sure                                                A related development was
     that women’s and men’s needs           Issues from the training             that councillors and officials
     are taken into account.                One of the key issues that has       expressed the need to link up
        The gender machinery and the        come up in our training is the       with the gender machinery at
     key stakeholders are also not          ignorance of councillors and offi-   provincial and national level for
     providing clear direction and          cials about the IDP and Budget       the purpose of drawing up
     impetus for this to happen.            processes described above.           future development plans and
        When      local     government      Budgets are even said to have        ensuring that monitoring and
     comes to mind, it is not a big         been drawn up without clear          evaluation processes are gen-
     leap to think of crossing the          links to development plans.          dered, especially the key perfor-
     floor legislation. The latter has      With development plans drawn         mance indicators.
     created a dynamic that impacts         up by external consultants,
     on how councils operate, involv-       there can be a lack of ownership     Way Forward
     ing disruptions, insecurity about      or knowledge among councillors       In light of the serious obstacles
     the future and jockeying for           and officials. Another conse-        facing the integration of gender
     positions and alliances. This          quence is inadequate commu-          issues at local government level,
     uncertain political scenario neg-      nity participation, including        Getnet has decided to hold a
     atively affects councillors’ ability   participation of women’s organi-     conference on the subject of
     to do their work, which is to          sations to ensure that their         gender transformation in local
     deliver services to the commu-         needs are covered by the IDPs.       government later this year (See
     nity, and it has become a key             In the training councillors and   Page 15).
     focus for many.                        officials were also not clear
        A further issue is that council-    about what gender was and            Susan Holland-Muter is the Training
     lors and officials are often igno-     what the gender concerns of          Manager of Getnet
     rant about the processes and           their constituents were. But
     procedures of the IDP and              they did become enthusiastic         Notes
     Budget. This makes it difficult to     once they had been taken             1. Domestic Violence Act,
     raise gender concerns within key       through the process of exploring        Termination of Pregnancy Act,
     phases of the processes.               gender and could begin to               Employment Equity Act, to name
     Another factor that has a              grapple with their work from a          a few.
     bearing on effective service           gender perspective.                  2. Within the executive sphere there
     delivery is the lack of funding.          Getnet saw the workshops             should be an Office on the Status
                                                                                    of Women at national level
                                                                                    (located in the President’s Office)
                                                                                    and at provincial level (located in
                                                                                    the Premier’s Office) to develop
                                                                                    policy guidelines, to co-ordinate
                                                                                    and monitor implementation.
                                                                                    Gender Focal Units in each of the
                                                                                    line functions of the departments
                                                                                    at national and provincial level
                                                                                    are to ensure the implementation
                                                                                    of the gender action plans. Within
                                                                                    the legislative sphere there is the
                                                                                    Joint Standing Committee on the
                                                                                    Improvement of the Quality of Life
                                                                                    of Women and the Parliamentary
                                                                                    Women’s Caucus. Finally, there is
12   Local government workshop in Franschhoek.
                                                                                    the independent body of the Com-
                                                                                    mission on Gender Equality.
                                     GENDER CO-ORDINATIONS

Pushing gender machinery in the Eastern Cape

    or the past three months
F   Getnet has been working
with the Special Programmes
Unit of the Department of Social
Development in the Eastern
Cape to assist them with inte-
grating gender considerations
into the policies, practices and
services of this department.
  The task at hand is to firstly
consolidate the departmental
staff’s understanding of gender
and gender issues, and how this
impacts on the way in which
they provide services to their
various communities and target
groups. Secondly, the Special         Queenstown workshop of Special Programmes Unit staff.
Programmes Unit’s vision is to
see the incorporation of gender       empowerment, and counselling         by action plans for transforma-
considerations at project level,      services to women and men            tion, would bring more aware-
so that service delivery in the       who have been affected by            ness of women’s position in the
department can become gen-            gender-based violence. They also     workplace.
dered.                                reflected on the behaviour of          • Gender awareness work-
  This department works in 24         women and men within the             shops are mostly attended by
districts, with a co-ordinator        department, and made the fol-        women in the department,
heading each of the districts.        lowing observations:                 giving it the appearance of a
Getnet has conducted training           • Although the department          “women’s issue” – although
with the department’s staff in all    employs more women than              gender is about both women
but one region of the province,       men, men still mostly occupy         and men. Management, who are
the last workshop having taken        management positions and             often men, also do not often
place in late August. The Special     other decision-making positions.     participate in these types of
Programmes Unit intends expos-        The Department of Social             workshops or activities.
ing all districts to gender aware-    Development is a good example          • The integration of
ness training in order to             of the gender division of labour.    gender considerations at      Staff felt that
stimulate discussion and imple-
mentation of gender throughout
the department.
                                      Social work is still considered as
                                      typical “women’s work” and
                                      there are therefore many more
                                                                           project level needs to
                                                                           take into account the   ‘   policies accompa-
                                                                           impact of culture on nied by action
  The services the department         women than men working in the        gender relations. Discus- plans for trans-
provides to communities can           department. Although the             sions on gender and formation would
play a dynamic role in trans-         employment        statistics    of   culture in the workshop bring more aware-
forming the lives of women.           another department like the          focused on how women
                                                                                                       ness of women’s
However, projects are often con-      Department of Defence might be       experience certain cul-
ceptualised to address only           very different, the gender repre-    tural practices in the position in the
practical gender needs, without
a further consideration of strate-
gies that would begin to address
                                      sentation in decision-making
                                      positions will not differ much.
                                        • The department needs a
                                                                           Eastern Cape, and how workplace.
                                                                           these experiences were in
                                                                           conflict with their conceptions
the strategic gender needs of         policy on sexual harassment in       of a society supporting gender
women and men.                        the workplace, as well as a com-     equality.
  During our workshops, staff         mitment to implementing affir-         The task of the Special
started rethinking projects that      mative action policies. Staff felt   Programmes Unit in this depart-            13
involve job creation, victim          that these policies, accompanied     ment seems very big. The unit is
                                           GENDER CO-ORDINATIONS

     staffed by only two women.
     Working in such a vast province
     with poor infrastructure the suc-
     cessful incorporation of gender
     into projects depends entirely
     on the support and commitment
     of the various district co-ordina-
     tors. The work of the unit is
     aimed at making gender trans-
     formation a reality in the depart-
     ment and their strategy of
     awareness raising and consulta-
                                            Umtata workshop of Special Programmes Unit staff.
     tion with all districts is praise-
     worthy. However, the poor
     attendance of men – especially           Our government’s vision of a       that structures such as the Spe-
     managers – at these workshops          gender equal society seems           cial Programmes Units are given,
     means that gender mainstream-          admirable on paper, yet it is        both within their respective
     ing will stay the responsibility of    implementation that will make        departments as well as in broader
     women while ideally everyone in        this vision a reality. Perhaps a     government structures.
     the department should be               closer look is needed at the level
     sharing it.                            of support and budget allocation     Celeste Fortuin is a trainer with Getnet

     Sustaining poverty?                    Refugee women bring gender on board
     From page 4                              n May, Getnet, in

     profit before people’s develop-
                                            I association     with
                                            Aresta, hosted a work-
     ment, and gender equality par-         shop on gender aware-
     ticularly,    reinforces    the        ness for the gender
     exclusionary manner in which           committee of Sisonke
     states treat women.                    organisation,         a
        Linked to the New Part-             support structure for
     nership for Africa’s Develop-          refugees which was
     ment (Nepad), this new                 formed by women and
     development framework offers           men refugees living in
     the same market-oriented eco-          South Africa.            Sisonke participants at the workshop.
     nomies that are incompatible             The 12 participants,
     with the protection of women’s         all women and members of the pated and followed the discus-
     rights and do not promote              committee, came from countries sions. The discussions reflected
     gender equality. Framed by neo-        such as Rwanda, Burundi, how earnestly participants were
     liberal thinking, this plan            Angola, Kenya and South Africa. developing an understanding of
     strengthens the principle of           The committee was established gender, and the contributions
     private property and African           in 2001 to empower women and were marked by respect for dif-
     women have never had any               to assist them to become self- ferent views and perspectives.
     entitlement under this para-           reliant and find employment. Towards the end of the work-
     digm. Nepad does not address           However, the committee needed shop participants were able to
     the social relations in the            to learn more about gender and express their own understand-
     market that affect the access          gender-related issues to be ings of gender and gender
     and control women have in              effective and develop activities issues. The group hopes to
     terms of resources.                    to their objectives. The partici- establish a panel of trainers
                                            pants also played a key role in within Sisonke to facilitate
     Mohau Pheko is an independent
     consultant in the areas of economic    identifying the objectives of the ongoing learning and the
     and trade policy, economic literacy    workshop.                            holding of workshops in their
14   and advocacy in trade and                A translator was used to own languages.
     economics.                             ensure that everyone partici-
                            LOCAL GOVERNMENT CONFERENCE

                    Getnet to host local
                  government conference
BY CELESTE FORTUIN                   ernment are fairly vague on how      force best practice in this sphere.
                                     gender should be integrated by          The integrated development
                                     this sphere of government.           plan (IDP) is a potential tool for
     ocal government is the             The Gender and Local Govern-      integrating gender into local
L    sphere of government that is ment Transformation Confer-
the closest to people. Through ence, to be hosted by Getnet in
                                                                          councils’ structures, policies,
                                                                          finance and service delivery. An
the services it provides, local Cape Town from 1–5 December               important part of an IDP is com-
government has the potential to 2002, has the following aims:             piling a needs assessment of the
bring meaningful change to the          • To highlight the importance     community, so that a municipal-
quality of life and status of com- of mainstreaming gender in local       ity can be in a position to
munities, especially women. government                                    address the diverse needs of, for
Over the past three years,              • To build on the strengths       example, women in the commu-
Getnet has targeted policy- and insights of Getnet’s Local                nity. However, without gendered
makers in local government with Government Programme to                   key performance indicators in
the objective of building their introduce gender into municipal-          the IDP regulations, the onus is
capacity to integrate gender ities’ practices, policies and               currently on municipalities to
considerations into their work.      service delivery                     take the initiative in incorporat-
   Through our research and             • To bring key role players in    ing gender concerns in
training      programmes,       we the local government sector            service delivery. Dialogue
became aware that there was together in a discussion forum.               and debate is needed             Debate is
either no dialogue about gender         At present there is no gender
mainstreaming in the local gov- policy framework for local gov-
ernment sector, or that it was a ernment, although individual
                                                                          about the gender blind-
                                                                          ness of local government       ‘
                                                                                                         needed about
                                                                          legislation and regulations the gender
silent dialogue. One possible councils have begun to formu-               and how to address the blindness of local
explanation for this is that the late their own gender policies.          problem.                       government
link between our country’s However, the absence of a policy                  The conference will be legislation.
gender machinery and local framework and undefined links
councils is relatively undefined. between the supporting struc-
Another reason is that the laws tures that form part of the
                                                                          an ideal opportunity for
                                                                          all role players and stake-
                                                                          holders in the local government
that currently govern local gov- national gender machinery,               transformation process to net-
                                                   impacts negatively     work, share information, and
                                                   on the formulation,    develop implementation strate-
                                                   implementation         gies. Getnet hopes that stake-
                                                   and monitoring of      holders will develop partnerships
                                                   these policies. Not-   and a better understanding of
                                                   withstanding this,     the roles they have to play in the
                                                   some local councils    gender transformation of local
                                                   have started initia-   government. The next issue of
                                                   tives to integrate     our newsletter will focus exclu-
                                                   gender considera-      sively on gender and local-
                                                   tions into their       government.
                                                   work and functions.       More information about the
                                                   Another objective      conference can be obtained from
                                                   of the conference is   Elizabeth Schutter at Getnet.
                                                   to present case
                                                   studies of gender
                                                   work within munic-
Getnet panel member Elston Seppie and Cecile
Jonkheid from the Overstrand municipality.
                                                   ipalities, and to
                                                   discuss and rein-
                                                                          Celeste Fortuin is a trainer
                                                                          with Getnet
The Gender Education and Training Network is an non-govern-        •   Gender analysis of local government’s performance
mental organisation based in Cape Town, South Africa. Our
vision is to work towards the empowerment of women in the          •   Considering gender issues in the transformation of councils’
                                                                       practices and procedures
context of the democratisation of society. We work nationally
and in the SADC region.
We have three programmes and a consultancy service.                Masculinities Programme
                                                                   The aim of the masculinities programme is to promote men’s
Gender Co-ordinators Programme                                     active participation in the search for gender equality. Based on
The Gender Co-ordinators Programme equips men and women            discussions of the men’s own experiences, the workshop pro-
with the understanding and skills to mainstream gender within      vides a secure and non-threatening environment for men to
their organisations.                                               reflect and discuss a range of gender issues relevant to their
                                                                   personal lives, work and community.
The programme is aimed at:                                         The programme is aimed at men who are:
•   Gender Co-ordinators
                                                                   •   Transformation officers
•   Gender Focal Persons
                                                                   •   Diversity trainers
•   Gender Practitioners in NGOs/Organised Labour/Private
    Sector                                                         •   Human resource managers

•   Men and women interested in deepening their understand-        •   Members of men’s groups or forums
    ing of gender in order to apply it in their organisation and   •   Interested in gender work
    community.                                                     Through a three-day workshop, the programme:
Through a two-phase workshop of five days, the                     •   Enables participants to reflect on how their socialisation,
                                                                       culture, tradition and religion affects relations between
programme covers:                                                      women and men.
•   Social construction of gender                                  •   Examines the intersections between gender, HIV/Aids and
•   Interface between gender-based violence, HIV/Aids and              violence against women
    poverty from a gender perspective                              •   Promotes social relations that contribute towards equity
•   Gender mainstreaming strategies                                    between women and men
•   Tools of gender frameworks and analysis                        •   Assists individuals, organisations and institutions to formu-
•   Gendered analysis of government budgets                            late plans for change interventions.

Local Government Programme                                         Consultancy Services
The programme aims to enhance the competencies of council-         Getnet offers its existing training packages to NGOs, private
lors and officials to develop and implement gender sensitive       sector and governmental departments at national, provincial
integrated development plans (IDPs) and budgets. Additionally,     and local level.
issues of gender equity within councils are addressed.
                                                                   We also offer tailor-made services on request in the following
The programme is aimed at:
•   Councillors from municipal and district councils               •   Gender awareness workshops
•   Local government officials                                     •   Diversity workshops
                                                                   •   Gender analysis of policy
Through a two-phase five-day workshop, the                         •   Development of gender policies

programme covers:
                                                                   •   Gender and organisational change
                                                                   •   Gender audits
•   Gender awareness
•   Gender issues in the formulation of IDPs and service
                                                                   For more information about our programmes and
                                                                   consultancy services, contact our programme administrator
                                                                   or visit our website at

                       17 Garlandale Crescent
                       P O Box 333 Athlone                                                              This issue of Network
                       Cape Town 7760 South Africa                                                    News was funded by the
                       Tel 27 21 697-5355 Fax 27 21 697-5560                                                  Ford Foundation

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