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Women leaders from the Sub-Saharan African region on Friday pledged to leverage on their numerical strength, ingenuity and entrepreneur spirit to drive the continent’s transformation agenda.

The women leaders from politics, academia, industry and civil sectors said at a forum in Nairobi that tapping the full potential of the female gender is key to realize growth, stability and cohesion in Africa.

Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta in his remarks at the forum underscored the critical role of women to achieve sustainable development, peace and security in Africa.

“We need to enlarge the space for women to fully contribute to economic growth and political stability in the continent. It is the duty of governments to harness the potential of women as we drive the transformation agenda,” said Kenyatta.

Kenya hosted the intergenerational leadership for women forum organized by the African Union (AU) and the UN Women to discuss novel ways to expand the space for female gender and ensure it is on the frontline of the continent’s renaissance.

UN Deputy Secretary-General Amina Mohammed attended the forum that runs from Aug. 16 to 18.

Kenyatta called on African women leaders to support government led campaigns against retrogressive practices that have undermined attainment of gender parity.

As governments, we are counting on women leaders in the continent to be champions against domestic violence, female genital mutilation and forced marriages that have violated rights and dignity of young girls,” Kenyatta said.

Mohammed urged African countries to enact policies that aim to narrow gender gap in school enrollment, leadership and employment.

“It is true that African women have broken the glass ceiling in many frontiers but governments must come up with policies and legislation that can promote their participation in governance and climate justice,” said Mohammed. Enditem

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