SOUTH AFRICA: ISS Welcomes Launch of African Women's Decade 2010-2020

Saturday, October 16, 2010
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Dar es Salaam, Tanzania - The South Africa-based Institute for Security Studies (ISS) has affirmed its commitment to advancing gender equality and African Women's empowerment following the launch, on Friday, of the African Women's Decade (2010-2020).

The Decade, launched the same day as in Nairobi, Kenya, calls for more concerted efforts to accelerate the implementation of agreed policy frameworks that aim to improve the situation and condition of women in Africa as articulated in various declarations, protocols and conventions on gender equality, women's empowerment and women's participation in conflict prevention, conflict resolution and peace building, as adopted by the African Union.

African heads of state and government adopted the proposal for an African Women's Decade at their ordinary summit in February 2009 in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.

At their eighth meeting, held in Banjul, Gambia, in 2009, African ministers in charge of Gender and Women's Affairs adopted the road map for the African Women's Decade activities.

The main objectives of the decade are to create awareness and mobilize continental support and political will, reinvigorate commitments in implementing agreed decisions on gender commitments, mobilize resources in implementing the Decade's goals, as well as energize the African women's movement with a focus on youth and grassroots women leaders.

Ten thematic areas have been identified for the next decade and emphasis on each theme will be highlighted annually.

These areas include fighting poverty and promoting economic empowerment of women and entrepreneurship; Agriculture and food security; Health, maternal mortality and HIV/AIDS; and Education, science and technology.