South Africans on 21 March will be observing and celebrating human rights day looking back at the gains and challenges that have been achieved in the past 20 years in terms of human rights and gender equality. 2015 also heralds a significant landmark in terms of human rights and gender equality. South Africa will be reporting before the CEDAW (Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Abuse against Women) Committee on the gains and challenges on the attainment of gender equality. Equally 2015 has been declared by AU (African Union) as a “Decade of African Women. The SADC Protocol on Gender and Development also sets up measurable goals towards the attainment of gender equality. This year will also a shift from the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) with the adoption of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The SDGs have specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound goals that will go a long way in ensuring that gender equality is realised and that the world is a better place for all. The Commission for Gender Equality (CGE), during the human rights month, will be embarking in various activities to create awareness to women and girls on their rights. We will also be creating platforms for women to “speak out” on the violation of their rights, hence also asking men to play a significant role in ensuring that they work together with women in curbing gender based violence. “It is critical important for society to note that women rights are human rights and to insist on respect for and access to them”, Said Thoko Mpumlwana, the Acting Chairperson of the Commission for Gender Equality. It is the Commission’s wish that many people benefit from our human rights campaign run together with various media platforms and in collaborations with other Chapter 9 Institutions in ensuring that right-based issues with regard to gender equality are realised. ENDS, Issued by: Commission for Gender Equality (CGE) Date: 20 March 2015 Contact Person: Javu Baloyi Tel: 083 579 3306 The Commission for Gender Equality is established in terms of Section 187 of the Constitution of the Republic of South Africa in order to promote respect for gender equality and the protection, development and attainment of gender equality.