Elections in the SADC region are being held one year before the 2015 deadline for Sadc to attain the target of 50:50 representations of men and women in key decision-making positions. The holding of elections in Southern Africa and the rest of the African continent has always created some interesting reading. Not short of eye-catching headlines and commentaries, focus is usually on the ruling party's election campaign to deal with service delivery and unemployment, as well as what the opposition say are the shortcomings of that government. Little is reserved on other pressing issues such as the need to facilitate gender parity in political decision-making positions. For example, the Sadc Gender Monitor 2013 notes that participation of women in decision-making structures across the region is low, despite the fact that women make up the majority of voters. All Sadc member states are signatories to various regional, continental and international instruments that promote gender equality and empowerment, yet most of them continue to have fewer women in political decision-making positions. Therefore, as the region anticipates at least five national elections this year, there is need for stakeholders to focus more on how Southern Africa could address some of the challenges affecting gender equality and parity.
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