African Women's Steering Committee on Post 2015:
Reaction to High Level Panel Report on Post 2015 Development Agenda
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Nairobi, Kenya, 15 June 2013
Representatives of African regional, sub regional, national and local women's organizations and networks would like to salute the High Level Panel's (HLP) commitment to gender equality and women's rights, including the strong commitment to prevent and eliminate all forms of violence against women and girls by 2030. Ranking the goal on women and girls second after the goal on ending poverty demonstrates the level of commitment from the HLP. The High Level Panel reports that, "No society has become prosperous without a major contribution from its women."
We commend the HLP for not only having recognized gender equality as an important issue and proposed that it is made cross-cutting throughout the framework but further proposing a stand- alone goal on empowerment of girls and women and achieving gender equality.
WOMEN RISING: Political Leadership in Africa Documentary launched by FEMNET and UNDP
Addis Ababa, May 2013. FEMNET (African Women's Development and Communication Network) and UNDP (United Nations Development Program) launch Women Rising – a documentary on Political Leadership in Africa in Addis in the margins of the AU Summit and during the celebrations of Pan-Africanism and African Renaissance.
In Africa, as in the rest of the world, women are largely underrepresented in the political arena. However 2011 and 2012 saw an unprecedented number of female presidential candidates vying for office. 2012 also ushered in the second female Head of State as well as a female Chairperson of the African Union Commission for the very first time. Rwanda ranks highest in the world in terms of female representation in Parliament with over 50% representation.
Women Rising features President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and President Joyce Banda of Malawi amidst Boussaina Kamel, the very first female presidential aspirant of Egypt (2012), Honorable Rebecca Kadaga, first female Speaker of the House in Uganda's Parliament, Honorable Rabiaa Nejlaoui, youngest Member of Parliament in Tunisia, and Honorable Hlobisile Ndlovu, Minister of Youth, Sports and Culture of Swaziland.
These women leaders share their experiences and challenges running for office, their ambitions, their role models and their vision for the development of the countries on continent in which both women and men participate. All of those featured in Women Rising are trailblazers; women who have taken up the mantle and paved the way for others to follow not only in aspiring for leadership positions but also willing to partner with men in meeting national development goals.
Is one born or made a leader? What are the lessons that can be learnt from those who have made it this far? What are the characteristics that lead to success in leadership? These are explored in Women Rising.
The documentary was commissioned jointly by FEMNET and UNDP as part of a series on Women in Leadership in Africa. It can be accessed on FEMNET and UNDP youtube pages.
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FEMNET is a pan-African Network set up in 1988 to advance African women's rights. FEMNET has played a central role in sharing information, experiences, ideas and strategies among African women in order to strengthen women's capacity to participate effectively and ensure that African women voices are amplified and influence decisions made at national, regional and global levels. www.femnet.co Engage with us on twitter and facebook.
UNDP partners with people at all levels of society to help build nations that can withstand crisis, and drive and sustain the kind of growth that improves the quality of life for everyone. On the ground in 177 countries and territories, we offer global perspective and local insight to help empower lives and build resilient nations.
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For Immediate Release: 27th March 2013
The African Women's Development and Communication Network (FEMNET), joins in congratulating Her Excellency Mary Robinson on her appointment as UN Special Envoy for the Great Lakes region of Africa.
FEMNET lauds this very first appointment of a woman as UN Special Envoy, a great landmark for women worldwide.
Nairobi, 10 January 2013—Cameroon has become the 36th African Union (AU) Member State to ratify the Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa following its deposit of its ratification instrument on 28 December 2012. The Solidarity for African Women's Rights (SOAWR) Coalition congratulates Cameroon on taking this important step, which demonstrates its commitment to women's rights and gender equality.
The African Women's Development and Communication Network (FEMNET) in partnership with UNDP and the NGO Gender Coordination Network (NGOGCN) organised the Fourth Regional Conference on African Women in Political Leadership, at Sogecoa Golden Peacock Hotel in Lilongwe, Malawi, from 26th to 28th November 2012.
The Conference brought together approximately 60 delegates from 21 countries including Botswana, Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Congo Brazzaville, Egypt, Ethiopia, Kenya, Libya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Nigeria, Rwanda, Swaziland, Togo, Tunisia and Uganda.
Conference participants included a cross section of seasoned and young women politicians, Members of Parliament, Ministers, senior government officials, political aspirants from countries holding elections in 2012-2015, leading women rights activists, civil society and research organisations engaged in women's leadership development, and key development partners supporting women's political participation initiatives.
The theme of the conference was: Interrogating Gender and Elections and Envisioning Women's Leadership Post 2015.
The workshop was officially opened by Her Excellency Mrs Joyce Banda, President of the Republic of Malawi, who also officially launched the FEMNET Herstory book, a documentation of FEMNET's journey over the last 25 years.
The key objectives of the Conference were to discuss and address the key impediments to women's full participation in electoral processes, and deliberate on goals for women's participation in decision making for the post 2015 development framework.
Fourth Regional Conference for African Women in Political Leadership
November 30, 2012
We the women leaders of 18 African Countries attending the Fourth FEMNET Regional Conference on African Women in Political Leadership in Lilongwe, Malawi from November 26-28, 2012, proclaim our solidarity with our sisters in Egypt, Libya and Tunisia, during the still-evolving Arab Spring.
For Immediate Release: 26th November 2012
Lilongwe, Malawi - Her Excellency Joyce Banda, President of the Republic of Malawi officially presided over the Fourth Regional Conference for African Women in Political Leadership taking place in Lilongwe, Malawi from November 26th to 28th 2012. “A second female head of state, along with the first female chairperson of the African Union Commission suggests that we are seeing a trend, that these triumphs are perhaps the first fruits of a broader transformation. It is far from the end of our struggle, but it is powerfully symbolic of the possibilities attainable by women in our countries, on this continent and around the world. Women working together, persistently against all odds.” remarked Her Excellency during the opening session. “As we remember and pay tribute to those visionaries, both men and women who fought for those victories, we have come together today to work out and imagine an even better future which both our ancestors and descendants alike can be proud of” she continued.
For Immediate Release: 23rd November 2012
Interrogating Gender & Elections and Envisioning Women's Leadership Post 2015
Lilongwe, Malawi - The African Women's Development and Communication Network (FEMNET) in collaboration with Malawi NGO Gender Coordinating Network and in partnership with United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) will be holding the Fourth Regional Conference for African Women in Political Leadership in Lilongwe, Malawi from November 26th to 28th 2012.
FEMNET invites members of the media to attend the opening session of the Conference on the 26th of November from 9:00am – 11:00am as well as to the public forum, "Whose Story is it? The Truth about Media, Gender & Elections" on November 27th from 6:00 – 8:00PM. Please see attached programme for more information.
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15 November 2012—On 6 November 2012, the Kingdom of Swaziland deposited its instrument of ratification of the Protocol on the Rights of Women in Africa. Swaziland has become the 35th African Union (AU) member state to ratify the Protocol, and the 12th member of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) to do so. Within SADC only Botswana, Madagascar, and Mauritius are yet to ratify the Protocol. The Solidarity for African Women's Rights (SOAWR) Coalition congratulates the Kingdom of Swaziland on taking this important step towards ensuring gender equality and the promotion and protection of women's rights.
Dinah Musindarwezo, Executive Director of African Women's Development and Communication Network (FEMNET) says, "I applaud Swaziland on this important step towards realizing women's rights. However, what will make real change in Swaziland women's lives will be the efforts the government and other stakeholders will make towards implementation of the Protocol. I look forward to, for example, seeing women in Swaziland having equal access and ownership of property including land without any cultural obstacles."
Ambassador Dr. Eunice Brookman-Amissah, Ipas's Vice President for Africa, adds, "This is an important milestone for the women of Swaziland and the Government of the Kingdom must be congratulated for ratifying the AU Women's Protocol. It had been long in coming but we hope that the momentum of this heroic action will translate into rapid action to IMPLEMENT the provisions of the Protocol for the advancement of Swazi women."
The coalition urges the Kingdom of Swaziland to domesticate the Protocol and to allocate all the necessary resources to ensure its full implementation. As the 10th anniversary of the Protocol's adoption approaches, the SOAWR coalition continues to call upon the remaining 19 AU member states to ratify this important instrument and calls on all States Parties to adopt a multi-sectoral approach that involves all stakeholders in the implementation process.
Over the course of two days 21st to 22nd October 2012, representatives of regional, sub regional, national and grassroots women's organizations and networks gathered in Monrovia to reflect on the achievements of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), deliberate on the lessons learned and asses the progress made on women's rights across Africa in light of the on-going consultations on the Post-2015 Development Agenda.
African Women's Organizations recognized the significant advances that have been made towards the achievement of MDG's. They were however concerned that little focus has been placed on the qualitative aspects concerning gender equality and women's rights. They further noted with concern the exclusion of critical development factors such as human capabilities, climate change and peace and security. Most importantly, they expressed their concern that the current framework has failed to effectively address horizontal and vertical inequalities within and across Africa.