GOING IT ALONE? SADC DECLARATIONS AND THE GENDER DEBATE
FAREDA BANDA a1 a1 School of Oriental and African Studies
The debates surrounding both the content and interpretation of human rights have always been contentious. It seems that the points of difference between countries, including those on the African continent, are such that consensus on the content of human rights is difficult if not impossible to reach. Perhaps the time has come to move away from “one size fits all” initiatives. Short of abandoning human rights altogether, heresy in this day and age, perhaps we should seek consensus amongst smaller groupings of states, hence the suggestion made here that the countries of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) should go it alone. Indeed one could argue that the process of going it alone has already begun. In gender issues that has been achieved in SADC by way of two Declarations, the first the 1997 SADC Gender and Development Declaration and the second the 1998 Addendum to the Declaration on Violence Against Women. Before examining the provisions of the two declarations, it is as well to give a brief background to SADC.