In January 2009, the Heads of states and governments at the 12th Ordinary Session of the Africa Union Summit held in Addis Ababa declared 2010 – 2020 as the African Women’s Decade (AWD). The Decade is being organized under the theme “Grassroots Approach to Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment.” On the 15th of October 2010, the African Union officially launched the AWD in Nairobi, Kenya with the aim to advance renewed efforts to accelerate the implementation of gender equality and women empowerment commitments made over the last decade to African women, including those made through the 2000 Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).
FEMNET has positioned itself strategically since the declaration of the AWD to be a lead African women’s organisation popularizing the Decade and its aims through its constituents more so at the grassroots level. As part of its Strategic Plan for the next three years (2011- 2013) FEMNET will partner with various stakeholders to further strengthen and consolidate its unique role of convener of African women organisations at key decision making levels and fora. It will use the AWD as a platform for strengthening further women’s communication, networking, advocacy and organizing in order to contribute significantly to the agenda for peace, equality and development in Africa.
For many women in Africa, the African Women’s Decade is an opportunity to integrate and strengthen linkages in our work on women’s human rights, integrating women’s social, political, economic and cultural rights into a single agenda. The Decade is also an opportunity to show the multiplier effect that achieving all these rights has for us women and society at large.