Gender, peace and security and the 2030 Agenda: A way forward for South Africa
In September 2015, South Africa adopted a new global UN development framework for the next 15 years, the 2030 Agenda. The Agenda includes gender, peace and security as an integral part of the framework, with a dedicated Goal 5 on gender equality and Goal 16 on peaceful societies.The framework is significant for South Africa, which has made gender equality and empowerment of women a priority. It has also championed gender equality domestically and internationally, by measures which include boosting women’s representation in politics, adopting progressive laws and policies protecting women’s rights, and signing up to a range of relevant international policy frameworks.
Nevertheless, more can be done to translate these achievements into real change in the lives of women in South Africa and the rest of the continent, who continue to face the ongoing challenges of inequality and insecurity. Issues of concern include the limited impact of gender mainstreaming in the security sector, the disturbingly high levels of sexual and gender-based violence, and a female homicide rate six times the global average. In addition, the patriarchal culture in South Africa’s military and police remains a considerable challenge, with men in the military often displaying negative attitudes towards women, and with male peacekeepers and police implicated in sexual exploitation and abuse. Thus, gender dynamics within South Africa can be seen to affect its international engagement on peace and security. This is particularly relevant as South Africa plays an important role in matters of peace and security on the African continent.
This report demonstrates how the 2030 Agenda - in particular Goals 5 and 16 - provides a valuable tool for advancing the gender, peace and security agenda in South Africa and on the wider continent. It argues that the 2030 Agenda complements the UNSCRs on women, peace and security, which focus solely on conflict and post-conflict situations.
Saferworld and SALO co-hosted an event in March during which the report was launched. Read the report from the event here.
“...it has become increasingly clear that the legislative and policy gains made (in South Africa) have had a far more limited impact on the everyday lives of women than anticipated.”Anna Moller-Loswick et al.