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AU Gender Meeting Expert Meeting Held

May 11, 2009, 6:18 AM | Article By: Sarata Jabbi-Dibba

As part of the activities of the International Women's Week celebrations, a meeting of the African Union (AU) gender experts on the implementation of the solemn declaration on gender equality and African women's decade was recently organised.

Speaking on the occasion at Jerma Beach Hotel, Dr. Aja Isatou Njie Saidy, Vice President and Minister for Women's Affairs, described the meeting as timely.

She pronounced that she has no doubt that it will accelerate the rate of implementation of the AU Solemn Declaration, on Gender Equality, and as well as avail them the opportunity to further brainstorm, devise and develop strategies, which may be integrated and implemented during the African Women's Decade (2010- 2020).

"Many member states, including ours have not as yet submitted our reports regarding the solemn declaration by the AU. And this could be as a result, of many factors, key amongst them, being the lack of aggressive follow-up, lack of adequate time resources and expertise, and too many conventions, protocols to report on aid."

Regarding the African Women's Decade in Africa, VP Njie-Saidy said new directions and concerted efforts are required, for the attainment of Gender equality, and the advancement of women and girls. "Therefore, the African Women's Decade, is timely, as it gives us this unique opportunity, to re-double our efforts, in the areas of gender mainstreaming, at all levels and by all actors, formulation and effective implementation of sound and relevant strategies, on women's empowerment, in particular economic empowerment. 

V.P. Njie Saidy however disclosed that the first decade ended in 1975, with the Copenhagen meeting. This she added was followed by the second decade (1975 - 85) which ended in Nairobi, Kenya, and the third decade from 1985 - 1995 which ended in Beijing, China, which was the last women's world conference to date, she noted.

For her part, Ms Litha Musyimi Ogana, Director, women gender and Development Directorate at the AU Experts meeting on the status of Reporting and implementation of the SDGEA, and on African women's Decade (2010-2020) said the three day Experts meeting, has two components.

The first she said will focus on reporting on the AU solemn declaration on Gender equality in Africa (SDGEA).

Among 53 AU member states, only 18 have so far submitted their reports. "The reports by member states have been based on two important documents adopted by the AU Ministers of women Affairs and Gender at their meeting in Dakar, Senegal in October 2005. They are the implementation framework of the solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa and Guidelines for Reporting on the solidly in Africa and Guidelines for Reporting on the solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa, these two documents are to assist member states in the implementation of their commitments."

The second component of the meeting is the consideration of the framework, strategies and Road map for the roll out of the African Women's Decade.

African Women's decade, she said, will be driven by the AU Gender policy that was adopted by the extraordinary meeting of the Ministers of Women Affairs.