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REVISTING THE BEIJING JOURNEY: Progress, Gaps and Emerging Issues.

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Presentation on theme: "REVISTING THE BEIJING JOURNEY: Progress, Gaps and Emerging Issues."— Presentation transcript:

1 REVISTING THE BEIJING JOURNEY: Progress, Gaps and Emerging Issues

2 Introduction International conferences and normative frameworks-global and regional- highlighting the journey on gender equality Highlight the gains on gender equality: progress so far Some gaps and challenges Critical emerging issues Moving forward Conclusions Outline of the presentation

3 We are gathered here today to reflect and to recognize the hard-won achievements of women, civil society, governments and the private sector on a regional scale We are here today to map the way forward on the future we want in Africa on gender equality and women’s empowerment Women have travelled a long way over the past 30 years, while the world has also changed in significant ways Introduction

4 Recalling the issues and highlighting the gains The journey on gender equality and women’s empowerment

5 Strategic focus Nigeria, Liberia, Rwanda, Cote d’Ivoire Key milestones in the journey 1. Defined a World Plan of Action for the Implementation of the Objectives of the International Women’s Year, which offered a comprehensive set of guidelines for the advancement of women through 1985; leading to the establishment of the International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of Women (INSTRAW) and the United Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM).International Research and Training Institute for the Advancement of WomenUnited Nations Development Fund for Women (UNIFEM) 2. Called for stronger national measures to ensure women’s ownership and control of property, as well as improvements in protecting women’s rights to inheritance, child custody and nationality. Also emphasized that more actions were required on employment opportunities, adequate health care services and education. 3. Governments adopted the Nairobi Forward-Looking Strategies for the Advancement of Women, which outlined measures for achieving gender equality at the national level and for promoting women’s participation in peace and development efforts. Also recognized the necessity of women to participate in discussions in all areas, and not only on gender equality. 1. The journey for gender equality and women’s empowerment, and women’s human rightsformally began in Mexico City in 1975 at the World Conference of the International Women's Year 2. World Conference of the United Nations Decade for Women in Copenhagen in 1980 3. The World Conference to Review and Appraise the Achievements of the UN Decade for Women took place in Nairobi in 1985.

6 Strategic focus Nigeria, Liberia, Rwanda, Cote d’Ivoire Key milestones in the journey 4. The Conference took historic new steps to promote and protect the rights of women, children and indigenous peoples by respectively, supporting the creation of a new mechanism, a Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women, subsequently appointed in 1994; This is also first time that women’s rights were formally recognized as human rights.Special Rapporteur on Violence against Women 5. ICPD delegates reached a consensus that the equality and empowerment of women is a global priority with a woman’s ability to access reproductive health and rights as a cornerstone of her empowerment. It is also the key to sustainable development. 6. The BPFA outlined 12 critical issues, which constitute barriers for the advancement of women, and identified a range of actions that governments, the United Nations, and civil society groups, should take to make women’s human rights a reality 4. Vienna 1993 World Conference on Human Rights 5. Cairo 1994: International Conference on Population and Development 6. Beijing 1995: Fourth World Conference of Women

7 UN frameworks and instruments, international conferences and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), provides the basis for realizing equality between women and men. The international normative frameworks are also backed by regional documents, instruments and processes such as the: 1. The African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights reinforced by the Protocol to the African Charter on Human and Peoples’ Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa: The ACHPR was adopted in July 2003 and came into effect in 2005. The adoption of the Women’s Rights Protocol sought to address the ACHPR’s omission of women’s rights. Of the 53 AU member countries, 49 have signed the protocol. 2. The Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa (SDGEA) 2004: SDGEA is considered as a reporting framework and was adopted by AU heads of state and government s at their July 2004 Summit 3. African Women’s Decade 2010-2020: The declaration of the Women’s Decade (2010–2020) provides a road map for the realization of the objectives for the Decade. The theme of the Decade is ‘Grass-roots Approach to Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment’, emphasizing a bottom-up approach to development. Global and Regional normative frameworks

8 These frameworks, adopted at the international level, paved the way for the 1995 Beijing platform for Action which we are reviewing today These various normative frameworks and milestones are mutually reinforcing, providing solid instruments for the fight against gender inequality. The frameworks on gender equality and women’s empowerment have informed regional approaches on the subject. They will continue to serve as reference points for governments and CSOs Relevance of the normative framework for gender equality

9 Progress so far…. Today many countries in Africa recognize in their Constitutions the importance of gender equality. Regional organizations, multilateral and bilateral agencies have integrated gender frameworks in their mandates and many civil society groups acknowledge gender inequality as one of the main fields of action for tackling injustice. Today we have a lot of evidence that confirms what feminist researchers and practitioners have argued for the last 30 years: that the contribution women make to development is of paramount importance and unless development benefits women, it will not benefit the rest of the society.

10 AT THE MACRO LEVEL Across Africa: Gender inequality in education and employment is estimated to have reduced per capita growth by 0.8% per year AT THE MICRO LEVEL Kenya: Giving women farmers the same level of agricultural inputs and education as men could increase yields obtained by women by more than 20% Zambia: If women enjoyed the same overall degree of capital investments in agricultural outputs, including land, as their male counterparts, output could increase by up to 15%. Tanzania: Reducing time burdens of women could increase household cash incomes for smallholder coffee and banana growers by 10%, labour productivity by 15%, and capital productivity by 44% Burkina Faso: Shifting existing resources between men’s and women’s plots within the same household could increase output by 10-20%. Some of the country specific evidences include:

11 Achievements or Progress over time Rwanda ranks 6 th, on the Global Gender Gap Report (2014) on political empowerment of women, next to Sweden, but ahead of Denmark; South Africa is 12 th while Tanzania, Cape Verde and Senegal occupy between 20 to 30 th positions out of 142 countries globally Rwanda, South Africa and Senegal are among the top 10 ranking countries for Women in Parliament, with Rwanda ranking first and the only country that has more women in parliament than men Two femal Presidents and a woman chair of the AU Implementation of 50/50 or 30% quota in many countries Women in Africa have played significant roles in peace processes in Sudan, DRC and Liberia. This led to the global recognition of two African women as the 2011 Nobel Peace Price winners in Liberia. (Leymah Gbowee shared with Ellen Johnson Sirleaf and Tawakel Karma) Women as vehicles for peace and actor for change Political participation and women’s leadership role for development

12 Achievements or Progress over time Socio-economic reconstruction and women in business Possible impact on women’s status Women's Education leads to significant social development. Some of the most notable social benefits include decreased fertility rates and lower infant mortality rates, and lower Maternal mortality rate Increases in the amount of female education in regions tends to correlate with high levels of development. Women's education increases the income of women and leads to growth in GDP. Women reinvest a greater percentage of their earnings in their families and communities 1. Rwanda, Burundi and South Africa rank among the top 20 countries on the GGG report of 2014 2. Nine countries from Sub-Saharan Africa are in the top 20 on the labour force participation indicator. Malawi, Mozambique, Rwanda and Burundi all have a higher representation of women in the labour force than men. 3. Burkina Faso has made the most progress on closing the gender gap in education 4. 4 African women are among the Forbes list of the world’s most powerful black women: Minister of Finance in Nigeria- Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala; President of Liberia – Ellen Johnson-Sirleaf; former president of Malawi – Joyce Banda and Folorunsho Alakija, Nigeria’s first female billionaire is a new entrant to the league of the world’s most powerful women on the 2014 Forbes list. 5. Among the 30 most promising entreprenuers in Africa is Senai Wolderufael, Ethiopian founder of Feed Green Ethiopia Exports Company, an Addis Ababa-based outfit that produces and exports popular Ethiopian spice blends. The company employs only women.

13 Nigeria, Liberia, Rwanda, Cote d’Ivoire GAPS AND PERSISTING CHALLENGES Social protection is important because it extends security to the poorest people, enabling them to protect, or even build, their human and physical capital. Recognizing women’s contribution to the economy and reducing and redistributing their care burden still remains a challenge on the continent; There are limited time use studies on the continent to inform policy. Weaknesses in the health systems leave a toll on women in Africa both through high maternal mortality rates- decreasing at a slow pace- and also through the impact of outbreaks and the distribution of the cost of public and private cost of care. Identified in the 2009 (Beijing+15) review in Banjul and still remains a challenge. According to the Global Gender Gap Report 2014, launched today, the gender gap for economic participation and opportunity now stands at 60% worldwide, having closed by 4% from 56% in 2006. Inadequate investment in social protection Unpaid Care Work Health systems weaknesses and the Ebola crisis Financing for gender equality

14 Strategic positioning of GEWE Nigeria, Liberia, Rwanda, Cote d’Ivoire Emerging issues 1. Industrialization has re-emerged as the top priority on the Africa policy agenda. African governments have registered increased commitments to industrialize their economies. Gender equality and women’s empowerment programmes and initiatives must be situated within this context. 2. women’s access to finance, women in informal trade and small scale processing should be designed to support women to take advantage of the industrialization process in Africa. 1. Gender equality and women’s empowerment work should be situated in key and strategic sectors of the economy in Africa. Agriculture remains a key influencing sector and strengthening agriculture value chains with a gender focus should be a priority. Also, a related and emerging sector of importance is the extractive industries 2. Africa’s economic growth over the past years have been influenced by exports of it natural resources to which women contribute. Women’s role in the natural resource sector highlighted as should their gains of such exports should be harnessed. 1. Building the resilience of population most affected by climate change and ensuring the gains from climate finance are equally shared among men and women remains a challenge. Also linking climate change to food security. Structural transformation and industrialization in Africa – Work in key productive sectors: agriculture and extractive industries Climate change

15 The journey continues: unfinished business but moving forward Be strategic in influencing ongoing regional and global processes such as the SDGs, Post 2015 development agenda, AU summit of 2015, CSW 2015: reviewing BPfA Identify bold interventions that will ensure tangible and sustainable changes that will be felt and seen at the local level: the “ordinary woman” in the village and the women in the slums of growing cities. Forge strategic partnerships with critical “agents of change” and partners such as Ministries of Finance and Development, Ministries of Environment, Ministries of Mineral Resources etc Work with ‘unusual’ partners, especially the private sector as gender equality issues pertains to all. Public policy and institutions alone cannot elicit the required results for gender equality.

16 Conclusion We have come a long way as a region in addressing gender inequalities and have made gains along the way We are however mindful of the persisting challenges and bottlenecks to achieving full gender equality on the continent We are committed to continue working with you to take advantage of the global processes-SDGs, post 2015 development agenda, CSW 2015 etc in ensuring sound frameworks for the implementation of gender equality goals Finally, achieving “gender equality” and ending discrimination against women and girls requires the involvement of men and boys, families, communities and nations and the international community. We remain committed to working with you and to ensure a continent free of all gender inequalities!!


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