- The Department of International Relations and Cooperation says there is a "dark cloud" hanging over the possibility of Africa attaining its Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane points out that, "Studies are predicting that, given the current trends with less than five years towards 2015, Africa is unlikely to achieve every single one of the MDGs."
Nkoana-Mashabane states that if Africa fails to achieve the MDGs, then the world would have failed, warning that the road to 2015 and beyond will not be an easy one.
To read the article titled, “Dark cloud over Africa attaining MDGs,” click here.Source:The Citizen
- Riding a taxi home the other day I was somewhat in awe of the woman driving it. She appeared to be the owner of the vehicle, in her mid-forties, dignified and commanding respect simply by the look of pride on her face.
I am also proud when I see examples like this of "sisters doing' it for themselves", to borrow from the famous Eurythmics and Aretha Franklin song.
However, when, as part of my job, I go through the recent Global Millennium Development Goals Report, I cannot help but feel dismayed. These South African "sisters" are doing it for themselves but many are still missing out on job security, decent employment and education.
Worse, these are not yet prominent issues in this year’s local government elections, where the main debate seems to be around infrastructure, not job creation or education.
Two MDG goals in particular - Goal 2: Achieve Universal Primary Education and Goal 3: Promote Gender Equality and Empower Women - are especially relevant.
Given that gender equality and the empowerment of women are at the core of the MDGs, along with the fact they are paramount if we are to overcome poverty, hunger and disease by 2015, these are definitely pressing issues for all our country's elected and aspiring politicians.
When it comes to schooling, disparities in tertiary education do not end at enrolment but are also seen in the area of study. Women are overrepresented in the humanities and social sciences and underrepresented in science and technology. This illustrates a reinforcement of socio-biological stereotypes which ensure women do not stray too far from their feminine household role, where they are supposed to be nurturing and non-competitive.
We see this in the labour sector as well. One example is the 2009 Gender Links Glass Ceilings: Women and Men in Southern African Media study, which found that stereotyping is common in media houses across the region. Women journalists are given softer reporting beats such as lifestyle, gender and health while male journalists work hard investigative beats such as politics or economics.
Employment wise, in sub-Saharan Africa women occupy just one in three paid jobs outside agriculture, and it comes as no surprise that women are typically paid less than their male counterparts and have less secure employment.
Despite this, there is an increase in women entering the labour force throughout their child-bearing years, finding ways to juggle the pressures of their unpaid family work and paid employment. Time will only tell what impact this has on the regional economy and male-female relations.
Women perform more unpaid work than men, leaving them "time poor" with less sleep and leisure time. The burden of combining the "traditional" work of a mother and wife and the paid work of the labour market inevitably impacts the level of participation possible for women, as well as their access to decent work.
The 2009 research report Global Trends in Women's Access to "Decent Work" notes that job security and occupational safety and pay do not automatically improve for women as employment increases. In fact, it may get worse as women are more vulnerable to exploitation by unscrupulous employers.
Limited men's participation in unpaid care work and child care is another hindrance to women's access to good employment opportunities. In addition, high levels of gender-based violence persist in South Africa, which is both a cause and consequence of poverty.
As we approach Election Day it is clear much more needs to be said and done if we are to achieve the MDG goals and facilitate women's access to education, training and full employment and decent work by 2015. The question now is which party, if any, will take up these important issues? Sisters need some help so they can do it for themselves.
- Doreen Gaura is a gender activist and writer based in Cape Town. This article is part of the Gender Links Opinion and Commentary series on South Africa's local government elections. It is published here with the permission of Gender Links.
- The United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) says Zambia has made steady progress in attaining the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015.
UNDP associate administrator, Rebecca Grynspan, whose visit to Zambia is her first to the Africa region in her current position, says the country has done well in terms of working towards meeting the MDGs by the year 2015.
Grynspan further says that the Zambian economy is growing at a fast rate, adding that the UN will continue supporting the country's development agenda as well as the various efforts aimed at meeting the MDGs.
To read the article titled, “UN envoy praises MDGs strides,” click here.Source:All Africa
- The Zimbabwean Government says all United Nations country team agencies should direct financial assistance to government through the fiscus rather than the current scenario where various disbursements modalities are being used.
Chief secretary to Cabinet and President Robert Mugabe, Misheck Sibanda, points out that Zimbabwe is no longer a classic humanitarian case, hence more financial and technical assistance should now be channelled towards developmental programmes.
Speaking during the signing ceremony of the Zimbabwe United Nations Development Assistance Framework for the period between 2012 and 2015 in Harare, Sibanda assured the UN agencies that the development assistance availed to the country would be managed with greater accountability and transparency.
To read the article titled, “NGOs told to direct funds through fiscus,” click here.Source:All Africa
- Planning Minister, Trevor Manuel, says South Africa has failed to deliver quality services to the poor, despite adequate funding.
Manuel points out that, “We must accept that despite the adequate allocation of funding, we fail to deliver quality services, especially to the poor."
Manuel says legislators needed to recognise that the quality of democracy should be measured in a country's success in uprooting poverty, reducing inequality and broadening opportunities.
He was addressing members of the European Union and South African legislative sector at the 2010 International Consultative Seminar, which focused on the role of legislatures in achieving the United Nation's millennium development goals in Cape Town.
To read the article titled, “Manuel admits state fails on services,” click here.Source:Fin24
- Zambia's founding president, Kenneth Kaunda, says most African countries will not be able to meet their Millennium Development Goals (MDG) targets, particularly poverty eradication and the fight against HIV/AIDS because of a lack of education.
Speaking at the launch of the literary competition at Orkney, North West, Kaunda, pointed out that, "If we are going to be moving at this pace, we will not meet those challenges. We must improve on the speed that we are moving now to bring about the necessary qualities and quantities of education."
The competition is the brainchild of the Dr. Kenneth Kaunda District Municipality and it is aimed encouraging residents to start using libraries and read books as a tool of empowerment.
To read the article titled, “Kaunda says African countries unlikely to meet MDGs,” click here.
- Debate on the MDGs has recently intensified in both the public and policy sectors. With less than five years to go until its deadline of 2015, and the majority of the Goals seemingly out of reach, many are questioning the design and implementation of the MDGs, as well as the commitment from the international community. A recent summit in New York, attended by the world’s leaders, seems to have done little to provide the direction and clarity so clearly needed at this crucial juncture.
The International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, in conjunction with the United Nations Development Programme and the United Nations Information Centre in Pretoria, is pleased to invite you to its Humanitarian Diplomacy Dialogue panel discussion on the MDGs beyond 2015.
- Prof. Ogude, Wits University;
- Mr. Pooven Moodley, Oxfam Regional Advisor for Southern Africa;
- Dr. Osten Chulu, UNDP;
- Ina Mentz, Deputy Director, Strategic Planning and Policy Monitoring, Department of Social Development, South African govt.
Time: 10:30 am – 1 pm
RSVP: Nooshin, E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org by 29 November 2010Event start date:02/12/2010Event venue:IFRC offices (44 Wierda Road West, Wierda Valley, Sandton)
- The United Nations secretary-general, Ban Ki-moon, says strong political support is needed to achieve the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
Addressing the G20 summit in South Korea, Ban said that despite widespread skepticism, he believes the goals are still achievable before the 2015 deadline.
“...I believe that with strong political leadership and good policies targeted towards the right people, right areas and smart investment and adequate financial resources, I am sure that this is achievable," he explained.
To read the article titled, “Strong political support needed to achieve MDG's,” click here.
- The United Nations Foundation board of directors is holding a Board meeting in Ghana and will meet with government and NGO leaders to learn and share strategies for advancing progress on the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
The meeting comes at the culmination of a year-long effort by the UN Foundation to raise awareness about the need for innovative partnerships between governments, civil society, and the private sector with the UN to address global challenges.
The meeting in Ghana builds on the positive momentum generated during the recent high-level UN Summit in New York that showcased how the UN is achieving progress in Africa and must be accelerated around the world.
To read the article titled, “UN Foundation to Observe Progress Made on MDGs,” click here.
- Minister in the Presidency, Trevor Manuel, criticises developed countries for failing to act on the big commitments they have been making, to help developing countries.
Manuel, who is also accusing developed nations of ignoring these commitments, adds that, “This has led to a breakdown of trust and a high degree of cynicism about rich countries’ efforts to help tackle issues like poverty.”
He further states that the challenge in removing global economic imbalances and inequality is in relation to ethics of governance.
To read the article titled, “Developed countries fail on own commitments: Manuel,” click here.