Call for Equality and Democracy in Swaziland

Back to all Motions

2012 National Black Members' Conference
21 September 2011

Call for Equality and Democracy in Swaziland

Conference calls to set focus on Swaziland – a country so brutally savaged by the impact of HIV/AIDS, poverty, poor governance, and minus democratic rights.

Swaziland is the only absolute monarchy in Africa; it is a country where 10% of 1.18 million population controls almost half of the national wealth, while its 70% of population (of which 67% are women), lives below the poverty line of US $1.25 per day.

HIV/AIDS, social and economic problems are deeply rooted; high poverty, food shortage, and sheer adversity have reduced life expectancy to almost 42 years. Many women in Swaziland are forced to live as second class citizens; poverty; HIV/ADS pandemic are strongly feminised. Violence against women is endemic in Swaziland.

Despite being a party to International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, the laws for women are not matching Swaziland’s commitments under International Human Rights.

The Freedom House Report 2010 says Swaziland has the worst record on political rights in Southern Africa. It’s a country where people have been arrested, tortured, and subjected to all forms of persecution.

Leading civil society organisations, including trade unions, outlawed political parties continue to speak out to ensure equality and begin the process of democracy in Swaziland. Conference asks the National Black Members Committee to work with the International Committee:

·To work with Action for Southern Africa (ACTSA) and build awareness on Swaziland’s plight

·To influence, repeal laws that violate Human Rights in Swaziland

·To lobby politicians and press for constitutional reforms in Swaziland, ensuring political freedom and fair elections.

·To support Swazi trade unions in their quest for fairness, political, human, and democratic rights in Swaziland.