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Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Moving Africa from Commitments to Action.

The African Women’s Decade was launched in Nairobi-Kenya in October 2010.The decade is an opportunity to integrate and strengthen linkages in the work on women’s human rights, intergrating women’s social, political, economic and cultural rights in a single agenda. It is also an opportunity to show the multiplier effect that achieving all these rights has for women and society at large. To the greatest extent possible the goals of the decade should be linked to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) which are the primary yardstick for progress in Africa. The ideology behind this is not that women are being left behind by development, but that development on the continent is slowed by the exclusion of women.
As the continent experiences a wave of increased fundamentalism, the decade can also be used as a critical space to dialogue on progressive views on culture, tradition and religion, as a catalyst for accelerated realization of women’s rights. The decade additionally provides an excellent platform for the women’s movement to work together and reach out to other constituencies, to tell our stories, celebrate victories and achievemnts, and project our own images of African women and girls to Africa and the world.

The Ten Themes for the African Women’s Decade (2010-2020)

  1. Fighting Poverty and Promoting Economic Empowerment for Women and Entrepreneurship.

    • Attain decent work for women and equal opportunity in employment, promotion, and movement towards parity at the work place.
    • Create employment and services by supporting women entrepreneurs particularly in informal sectors, including small medium enterprise (SME), medium enterprise (ME) and grow them to big businesses.

  1. Agriculture and Food Security.

    • Achieving food security and fighting hunger.
    • Increased women’s access to agricultural land, farm inputs,credit,technology,extension services, irrigation and access to water through water harvesting, boreholes etc.
    • Link women to markets through value addition of their products including agro-based supply chain, creating new markets for their produce including organic food stuff.

  1. Health, Maternal Mortality and HIV&AIDS.

    • Improve women’s health.
    • Reduce Maternal Mortality.
    • Address HIV&AIDS-inappropriate burden on women and girls on infections spread and increase workload, as well as unequal access to ARV’s, good nutrition and formal medical services.

4.      Education, Science and Technology.

    • Achieving parity in education at secondary and tertiary levels and achieve higher retention rates for girls.
    • Increase literacy levels of women through adult education.
    • Contribution of women scientists and information, communication and technology.

    Nobel Peace Prize Winner 2004-Wangari Maathai
  1. Environment and Climate Change.

    • Identify women’s role in mitigating climate change, as custodians of the environment, making sure they benefit from the new global packages to fight climate change.

  1. Peace and Security and Violence Against Women.

    • Work with the African Union Peace and Security Department(PSD)The Peace and Security Council(PSC)and the Panel of the Wise in relation to United Nations Security Council Resolutions:1325,1820,1888 and 1889,with particular focus on Violence Against Women(VAW),peace building and reconstruction.

  1. Governance and Legal Protection.

    • Jointly with Political Affairs, Women, Gender and Development Directorate will support women’s participation in political and electoral processes in countries undergoing elections during the decade as well as in the implementation of gender issues in Africa Peer Review Mechanisms (APRM) and national action plans.

  1. Finance and Gender Budgets.

    • Increased women’s access to financial resources from Governments budgets through gender budgeting, financial markets targeting economic stimulus packages and specialized funds from development partners to support women projects aimed at empowering women econmomically, and mobilize resources through FAWO as well as mobilizing resources for the implementation of the decade activities in general and priority areas in particular to achieve decade targets.

    Her Excellence Ellen Johnson Sirleaf
  1. Women in Decision Making Positions.

    • Implement AU parity principle in line with AU gender policy and ensure targets for equal opportunity of women in decision making positions, in the political (Legislative) Judiciary and Executive are achieved.

  1. Young Women Movement.

    • Energizing the African Women’s Movement, and mentoring young women leaders and professionals, both in Africa and the Diaspora to be champions on Gender Equality and women’s empowerment.

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