The 26th African Union (AU) Summit is scheduled to take place from 17th to 30th January 2016 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia under the theme: : “2016: African Year of Human Rights with particular focus on the Rights of Women”. This builds up on the 2015 theme of “Year of Women Empowerment and Development towards Africa’s Agenda 2063”. The World YWCA is participating with a delegation from the following YWCA member associations: Ethiopia, South Sudan, Cameroon and Democratic Republic of Congo.
Prior to the 26th Ordinary Session of the Heads of State and Government in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, the Gender is My Agenda Campaign (GIMAC) network, is holding a meeting themed: “Looking towards 2020: Securing Women’s Rights through Gender Equality and Silencing the Guns in Africa”.
The overall objective of the Gender Pre-Summit is to bring together voices of key actors in the gender equality and women’s empowerment arena to update and discuss critical developments in the field, assess the extent of implementation of commitments, especially the Declaration on 2015 Year of Women’s Empowerment and Development Towards Africa’s Agenda 2063 as well as the Mid-Term Review of the African Women’s Decade, identify future priority areas of action including the implementation of the 2016 year of Human Rights with a focus on the Rights of Women, and call for greater acceleration in the effective implementation of commitments on gender equality and women’s empowerment.
The specific objectives are to:
- Present the 2016 WGDD Work plan and receive inputs and recommendations on its effective and efficient implementation from the Ministers of Gender and Women Affairs.
- Assess the implementation of commitments made on gender equality and women’s empowerment in Africa, with specific reference to the Declaration on 2015 Year of Women’s Empowerment and Development Towards Africa’s Agenda 2063 as well as the Mid-Term Review of the African Women’s Decade, and to develop possible intervention strategies to accelerate the implementation of commitments on gender equality and women’s empowerment.
- Raise awareness and develop a common strategy on the implementation of the 2016 theme of African Year of Human Rights with Particular Focus on the Rights of Women.
- Assess progress on women’s participation in politics, public office and the judiciary and identify challenges and barriers hindering their effective participation as well as develop strategies to accelerate women’s agency and leading role in politics, public office and the judiciary.
- Identify how national regulations and policies, on one hand, and practice from financial institutions and investors, on the other, can work more closely in ways to improve the financial inclusion of women in the formal economy.
- Stimulate dialogue between AU Member States, regional intergovernmental institutions, CSOs and development partners on the opportunities, gaps and solutions for enhancing women’s economic empowerment and ensuring that women are at the centre of sustainable development, peace, regional integration and economic growth in Africa.
- Explore recent developments on migration, particularly recent trends, challenges and impact on women as well as to discuss best ways to manage it by policy makers in Africa and countries of destination.
- Engage practitioners, policy- makers, activists, and a broad range of stakeholders to review the implementation of the Women, Peace and Security agenda on the continent, learn from various experiences and challenges, and reflect critically on what is needed to accelerate implementation and monitoring at all levels as well as a way forward.
- Share progress, challenges and opportunities for women in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and in Technical Vocational Education and Training (TVET).
- Provide an understanding of the extent of the several HTPs still prevalent in Africa, as well as the role that social society plays in amplifying gender divisions.
- Provide an opportunity for different stakeholders to discuss the challenges hindering progress in achieving women’s land and property rights in Africa, as well as to identify and promote practical approaches to address these challenges with a view to gain commitment towards promoting good models.