As the International Women’s Day is marked under the theme “I am generation equality: realizing women’s rights,” the African Union (AU) has reiterated its commitment to further scaling up efforts towards addressing gender parity on the African continent.
In a statement on Sunday, the Chairperson of the AU Commission, Mousa Faki Mahamat, said the 55-member pan-African bloc is endeavoring towards achieving gender parity and ensuring that women and men have access to equal opportunities.
The AU Commission joins the global community to celebrate and honor African women for their contributions in the development and well-being of the continent, said the Chairperson, reiterating that the Day marks important milestones in the continental and global calendar for gender equality and the empowerment of women.
At the continental level, this year marks the end of the African Women’s Decade 2010-2020 on Grassroots Approach to Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment.
Globally, 2020 commemorates the 25th anniversary of the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action and the 20th anniversary of the UN Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1325 on Women, Peace and Security.
This year is also the fifth anniversaries of Africa’s Agenda 2063’s First Ten Year Implementation Plan and the United Nations Agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development Goals.
Furthermore, it marks the beginning of the United Nations-led multigenerational campaign captioned “Generation Equality: Realizing women’s rights for an equal future”, which the African Union is supporting.
“All these milestones provide an opportunity to take stock of women’s achievements, and reflect on how action can be accelerated to fully achieve the goals of gender equality and women’s empowerment in Africa,” said the AU statement.
The AU heads of states at their recently concluded 33rd summit in Ethiopia’s capital Addis Ababa, declared 2020 to 2030 as the African Women’s Decade on Financial and Economic Inclusion.
The AU, in collaboration with the UN Economic Commission for Africa, has also launched the African Women Leadership Fund with the aim of mobilizing resources from the global private sector to fund women initiatives and promote an enabling environment for the increased participation of women across the continent.
Furthermore, the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement promises to benefit women in business, especially women cross-border traders across the Continent, said Mahamat.
“The AU remains committed to eradicating violence against Women and Girls in its all ramification as well as protecting the girl child from all forms of abuse including early marriage and other harmful traditional practices,” he said.