PAWO welcomes AU strategy on gender equality

Sunday, March 17, 2019

Secretary General of the Pan African Women’s Organisation (PAWO) and South Africa’s Deputy Minister of Communications Pinky Kekana has welcomed the African Union’s (AU) Gender Equality and Women Empowerment Strategy 2018- 2028.

The strategy is an instrument aimed at eliminating the constraints hindering gender equality and the empowerment of women.

Aligned to the AU Agenda 2063, the agenda will generate momentum in ensuring gender equality by getting organs of the African Union and its partners to implement the recommendations.

“We believe that the strategy is a comprehensive articulation of the AU Agenda 2063 Goal 6 which seeks to ensure that we have an Africa whose development is people driven, relying on the potential offered by African people; especially its women and youth and caring for children,” she said on Friday.

The policy recognises that violence against women and related harmful traditional practices are symptomatic of the accepted social norms in many countries and communities.

The spectrum of violence affecting women across Africa includes domestic violence, rape, female genital mutilation (FGM), intimidation and additional threats to women’s personal security in periods of war and conflict. 

PAWO said such violence is exacerbated in conditions of conflict. Human security and bodily integrity for women is critical for the attainment of gender equality.

The organisation also highlighted that women must form part of the mainstream workforce in transitioning the African continent to take advantage of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

The adoption of the strategy took place during the 63rd Commission on the Status of Women (CSW63) which attracts over 10 000 delegates from all 193 Members States of the United Nations in New York.  The CSW got underway on Monday.

“As the Pan African Women’s Organisation, we understand that strategy can only be a successful strategy if it is inclusive and speaks to people with disabilities and the LGBTQIA+ community,” said Kekana.

“In the final analysis what we know for sure is that this document lays down the path to gender equality and women empowerment for future generations, this important because, the future is African, black and young,” she said. -