Gender Equality Should Be Mainstreamed within AU Agenda

Cape Times (South Africa), August 6, 2015 | Go to article overview

Gender Equality Should Be Mainstreamed within AU Agenda


BYLINE: Javu Baloyi

DURING the month of August, South Africans celebrate Women's Month, in particular August 9, which has been declared national Women's Day. Most importantly, 2015 has been declared a year of women's empowerment and development towards Africa's agenda 2063 by the African Union (AU).

Going forward, gender equality should be mainstreamed within the implementation of agenda 2063.

In her speech marking International Women's Day, AU Commission Chairperson Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said: "Agenda 2063 is led by the African people, particularly women and young people who are considered as the driving force of the continent, the pillars on which the continent must rely to achieve sustainable development and a prosperous and peaceful Africa."

Dr Dlamini-Zuma was emphasising the need to have women empowered as they play a bigger role in society.

The Southern African Development Community (SADC) Protocol on Gender and Development also set up measurable goals towards the attainment of gender equality - to attain 50-50 representation - by 2015.

The tenure of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) expires this year and there will be a transition from MDGs to Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). The Department of International Relations and Co-operation should ensure that gender equality is mainstreamed in all the SDGs. The proposed SDGs have specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound goals that will go a long way towards ensuring that gender equality is realised.

As the Commission for Gender Equality (CGE), we are concerned that in spite of UN Security Council Resolution 1325, which calls for the adoption of a gender perspective to consider the special needs of women and girls during conflict, repatriation and resettlement, rehabilitation, reintegration and post-conflict reconstruction, we continue to see women and girls being displaced in armed conflict. Some of these women are used as shields or in the forefront of armed conflict. This results in women and children migrating to peaceful countries like South Africa.

We also acknowledge the role the South African government plays in safeguarding the plight of women and children who are migrating due to conflict or violence in their countries. …

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