ADVOCACY & LOBBYING Terms of Reference Rapporteur
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SADC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM
TERMS OF REFERENCE For Rapporteur "LEADERSHIP AND POLITICAL REPRESENTATION OF WOMEN" RWPC Advocacy and Lobbying Missions to Malawi, Namibia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe
These Terms of Reference will serve as the contractual agreement for rapporteuring during the RWPC Advocacy and Lobbying Missions, which will be undertaken in Malawi, Namibia, Swaziland and Zimbabwe
The project seeks to bring more women into political and decision making positions by engaging political parties to review their manifestos and constitutions to see to it that they appreciate and articulate gender equality issues and to facilitate the review of the existing status quo in order to accelerate the achievement of the objectives of the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development.
It is hoped that the ultimate results of this intervention will be that political parties and national parliaments create conditions that promote women political participation and ascension to leadership positions and a strong and well functioning multi-party Women Parliamentary Caucuses.
The Regional Women's Parliamentary Caucus as an established organ of the SADC Parliamentary Forum, provides an institutional framework to follow up on the political commitments on the equal participation and representation of women in positions of power and decision making at all levels as articulated in the SADC Protocol on Gender and Development (2008).
All the evidence from the SADC region and experiences around the globe demonstrates that the political participation and effective representation of women in positions of power and decision making at all levels has not yet happened. Rather, it is accelerated by multi dimensional strategies that build and inculcate the democratic governance ideal which implies the participation and contribution of all parts of the population without regard to class, sex, gender, ethnic or religious background.
The political participation and representation of women, who constitute more than half of the populations of SADC countries will necessarily imply an important democratic advance which is worthy of the SADC Parliamentary Forum to pursue in line with its 2011-2015 Strategy. This is premised in the Forum's recognition that attention to the political participation and representation of women in positions of power and decision making is essential to achieving gender equality and sound democratic governance in the region
Due to the fact that progress is slow and in some instances the small gains are being eroded, the SADC Parliamentary Forum has adopted measures that accelerate the transformation of electoral systems, political parties' constitutions and intra-party democracy processes from a gender perspective. The advocacy for women's political participation and representation in elective positions through political parties' constitutions and policies reforms, electoral reforms targeting electoral laws and systems reviews from a gender perspective, especially in the countries scheduled to have elections is expected to contribute to conducive environments that facilitate women's political participation and representation in the SADC region towards the goal of gender equality in parliament by 2015.
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