The Gender Caucus of the Pan-African Parliament has called on African governments and Parliaments to give priority in their national strategies to the development of national action plans that address women empowerment and violence against women.

In a fourteen points recommendation adopted at the end of the two-day 13th Pan-African Parliament Conference on Women’s Rights, under the theme, “Women Empowerment and inclusion in Governance”, participants noted with regret that the causes and consequences of violence against women and girls are based on long-standing unequal power relations between women and men, reinforced by gender-based discrimination, and outdated negative societal norms, which restrict women’s full enjoyment of their human rights, the realization of their aspirations, their full potential and their contribution to society.

Reading the recommendation, the Chairperson of the Pan-African Women Caucus, Hon Amina Tidjani Yaya, commended the AU Member States that have adopted and implemented gender equality laws that provide for specific quotas for women and encourage Member States that have not yet adopted such laws to do so as a matter of urgency.

She further appealed to the 12 Member States that have not ratified the Maputo Protocol to do so. “We urge Parliamentarians to call on their respective governments to accelerate the process of signing, ratifying, and implementing mechanisms for the domestication of the Maputo Protocol, and call on all African women to mobilize wherever they are to popularize this through the media.”

Hon Amina Tidjani Yaya appealed to national Parliaments to enhance and promote the active engagement and participation of women and youth in the policy-making and implementation of the AfCFTA and to develop interventions targeting informal cross-border trade with a view to protecting women’s trade and encouraging their formalization.

She encouraged States to relax the criteria for obtaining funding for income-generating activities for women and youth in order to fight poverty through the promotion of economic empowerment, entrepreneurship, finance, and gender-responsive budgeting.

She finally urged the Pan-African Parliament through the women’s caucus to develop appropriate mechanisms for the implementation of the resolutions and recommendations adopted.

Story by Gilbert Borketey Boyefio

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