The European Union on Thursday urged Africa to prioritize women empowerment in order to accelerate progress towards achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
Simon Mordue, European Union (EU) Ambassador to Kenya told journalists in Nairobi that the African continent should strive to eliminate social and cultural practices that undermine women and girls.
“Women empowerment is an essential step towards achieving the SDGs as well as the interest of the continent,” Mordue said on the sidelines of the International Conference on Population and Development ( ICPD 25).
Mordue also pledged to support the continent to achieve zero harmful practices toward women as well as zero gender-based violence.
According to the EU, if women have better access to education and reproductive health services they will be able to control their own destiny, protect their health and better make choices that are important to them.
He observed that in a number of countries such as Kenya, progressive legal regimes on women issues have already been enacted but the challenge is to ensure that they are fully implemented.
Norbert Neuser, vice chair of the committee of development at European Parliament said that women and girls should be at the heart of all development polices implemented.
Neuser added that mainstreaming of gender issues will also help to boost socio-economic indicators especially in the area of health and education. Enditem