Women bear an unequal burden when it comes to most aspects of life, from poverty or HIV/AIDS to climate change. They are far more likely to be subjected to domestic violence and less likely to go to school, receive adequate health care or participate in decision-making structures.
ACTSA believes that gender equality and the empowerment of women is crucial for advancing development and reducing poverty in southern Africa, and aims to integrate a gender perspective in all its work.
Improving women's rights in Swaziland
Women in Swaziland are treated as second class citizens, as objects and denied the opportunity or resources to advocate for their rights. Poverty, high levels of gender based violence, traditional laws that classify women as minors and the failure to implement laws to protect women all contribute to an appalling level of discrimination.
ACTSA is working with the Foundation for Socio Economic Justice and the Swaziland Rural Women’s Assembly on a four year project to Improve Women’s Rights in Swaziland. Find out more about the project.
The United Nations has a key role in working for women's rights on a global level. However, until now the UN bodies dealing with gender equality have been under-resourced and fragmented.
In 2011 UN Women was established with Michelle Bachelet, noted for her work on gender equality while President of Chile, appointed as its head. ACTSA continues to call for UN Women to be properly funded for it's work.
Watch Stephen Lewis at our conference, Gender and Development in Southern Africa, in October 2010, talking about why UN Women is so crucial to work for gender equality in southern Africa. Stephen is former UN Secretary-General's Special Envoy for HIV/AIDS in Africa, former Deputy Executive Director of UNICEF and was the Canadian Ambassador to the UN. He has been one of the leading advocates for the establishment of the UN Women's Agency. Stephen is also outspoken on violence against women in DRC and Zimbabwe. He is currently the co-director of AIDS Free World.You can view the video of his keynote speech here.