Draft AU Gender strategy

Date: October 8, 2017
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6 thoughts on “Draft AU Gender strategy”

Redges Muleya says:

The draft is on point looking at it that it encompasses all African countries with diverse needs and specifications.My findings through research is that the re-entry policy in Zambia has seen most girls complete school,however the children to most of these girls are suffering and under nourished,and the death rate among these children are higher than their counter parts.As a way forward, such policies should be accompanied by a funding to give support to such vulnerable children.The situation is pathetic in rural parts of Zambia.
Most women do not discuss politics in these medias. Usually women would want to discuss who did their hair style, who did their nails as an example, as African women, we need to scale up in our intellect and start talking about how our govts. are not doing well in the issues of governance, economy, and every other sector which is affecting our people for example. When we have such a cadre of women who can speak out on national issues and provide alternative solutions, then we are getting somewhere as women in Africa. So deliberate platforms can be created where women can discuss these issues and be heard. Its disappointing sometimes that women organization are so silent on commenting on national issues. May be we need to change the strategy by creating media platforms for women to discuss issues affecting them in their nations.
Most women are so poor in my country. They struggle to feed their children, without much help from the government.Its so sad.African leaders have failed women, and yet women are a beacon of life.

Man-Kwun Chan, Oxfam says:

(1) Oxfam welcomes the fact that women’s heavy and unequal share of care work (“care”) is well recognised in the Draft Gender Strategy’s situational analysis, and that in particular care is recognised as a cross-cutting issue that affects or is affected by multiple aspects Agenda 2063 (including women’s economic empowerment and decision-making, climate change adaptation, and provision of essential services provision, for example).

(2) However, the recognition of care as an underlying driver of all aspects of gender equality, as recognised by the UN High Level Panel on Women’s Economic Empowerment, does not at present carry through into the actual Gender Strategies for each [Agenda 2063] Aspiration and Goal (Draft Gender Strategy pp. 26-49) nor into the accompanying Draft Operational Plan.

We would therefore recommend that:
(a) Draft gender strategy – ensure that care commitments are included in all relevant goals, including Goals 2, 4, 5, 11 and 18 (in addition to the care commitments already included in Goals 1, 3 and 19)
(b) Draft Operational Plan – add specific actions that address care under the relevant goals, including Goals 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 11 and 18 (the current draft operational plan does not appear to include any specific actions that address care).

PulengL says:

ACCOUNTABILITY – though it is mentioned under Pillar 3, I think some text needs to emphasise Accountability and how countries will be held accountable for the implementation / non implementation of the Gender commitments

GENDER IDENTITIES – I would have imagined that a Gender strategy being developed in 2017 would made an attempt to mention other marginalised groups such as the LGBTI community in the context of Gender Identities. I might have missed it but it would be worthwhile to acknowledge, especially in the context of SRHR and GBV.

Tarisai says:

Thanks for the insightful comments PulengL


1) Pillar 1: Economic Empowerment and Sustainable Development

The earliest efforts to bring formal financial services to women began with microcredit—small loans to small entrepreneurs. In recent years, studies show that when a woman controls her own finances, she invests in the health, nutrition, and education of her family—investments that drive inter-generational change with a ripple effect in her community. At the macro level, expanding financial inclusion for women has a profound impact on overall economic growth and community development. This evidence proves that, to achieve full financial inclusion today, women need financial tools that go far beyond loans.

Expand specific objective 7 “Promote the growth of women enterprises from the small time to the big time through a Women and Business programme to ease women’s entrance in high return industries; go beyond micro-finance for women; and harness e-trade as part of the Pan African E Network (one of the flagship projects of Agenda 2063) by adding financial inclusion” i.e., we should not limit it only to e-trade.

Financial inclusion means ensuring that women have access to savings and insurance as well as the training and education to use these services well. Most importantly, these products must be designed and delivered in ways that fit into women’s lives.

2) Pillars 4,5 and 6:Leadership and Governance; Women, Peace and Security; Media, Communications and Sports

There is room for further elaboration in relation to the specific objectives in each of the strategic pillars to ensure that the specific objectives indeed address the key issues raised. For example, the interventions relating to Pillars 4, 5 and 6 are relatively weaker when compared to those in the other pillars. Further, in Pillar 2, the specific objectives relating to the girl child are relatively limited and do not adequately address pressing issues such as the sexual abuse of the girl child.

3) The inclusion of the provision of sanitary pads in schools is supported.

4) More specific emphasis should be placed on young women and the girl child in the context of the emphasis on harnessing the demographic dividend of Africa’s youthfulness and investing in the future.

The African Young Women Leadership and Advocacy Alliance says:

We consider the AU Gender Strategy to be strong but there are some critical areas that needs to be strengthened. Below are the observations we made as a collective (The African Young Women Leadership and Advocacy Alliance, AYWLA) of younger women from all sub-regions committed to upholding and advancing gender equality and sexual and reproductive rights in Africa, through policy influencing and social accountability for progressive and inclusive policies and framework on the continent. We are members of an Alliance created to amplify the voices of younger African feminists and create a platform to leverage experiences from the National level to influence Regional commitments and use these commitments to advance the Human Rights of women and girls in all their diversity nationally.

1. The strategy is silent on the rights of LGBTQI, female sex workers and Comprehensive Sexuality Education. And there are no mention of key populations when discussing HIV/AIDS
2. The document briefly mentions women living with disability as one of the specific target groups for the strategy but it would better if their issues were more visible throughout the document.
3. Also with regards to its specific targets, it makes mention of youths but adolescent girls who should also be specific targets are not included as such so it is important to specifically bring them out and make them more visible in the document.
4. The language on SRHR is inconsistent. The language on SRHR is changed in some areas where it is mentioned as sexual and reproductive health.
5. Health is not considered a strategic pillar rather as topic under social justice. If it is considered a priority then it should be a strategic pillar or be more prominent in the strategy.
6. In describing harmful practices, forced sterilization needs to be included
7. The specific roles of men and boys needs to be highlighted in the strategy
9. The strategy document makes no mention of young women in hard to reach areas and in humanitarian settings only of migrant women as a specific target group. Additionally the engagement with Young People will be through Young African Thinkers and the African Global Shapers. Those were the only ones mentioned in the document which does not align with the target groups in the strategy
10. It also makes no mention on how the strategy will engage with young women to implement the strategy.
11. On the SWOT analysis- there needs to be a proper distinction between a strategy and policy.

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