By Michelle Ndiaye Ntab*
The 24th Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union (AU) is currently taking place at the AU headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
The year 2015 was declared as the year of Women’s Empowerment and Development towards Africa’s Agenda 2063.
The journey towards gender equality has revealed major successes that have had huge implications on society as a whole. It especially contributed towards a better understanding of the role and place of women in nation building, education and to decision-making positions.
As a goal, gender equality as a public policy concept has never been more prominent and mainstreamed in legislation and programmes. The number of world summit processes to advance a global agenda like the summits on information society, sustainable development, climate change, and aid effectiveness illustrate this. None of these has reached the reach gender mainstreaming has acquired since the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and its Platform for Action in 1995. Today, there is almost no strategy document on global development and economic agenda without a component on gender mainstreaming and indicators to measure success in this area.
We have won the advocacy battle, by conquering a little more territory to achieve moral progress by being gender conscious. For Africa the slogan of the Office of the Special Adviser on Gender Issues and Advancement of Women, “Gender equality as the goal – gender mainstreaming as the strategy” is a testimony of what needs to be done. As far as we know, this year’s theme will be overshadowed by other issues on the agenda of the Heads of States. However, this choice of theme is a good opportunity to remind those who still have doubt about gender mainstreaming, that there will be no development of the continent without the other half of its population playing an equal role toward society’s common advancement goals.
See you in 20 years time!
*Michelle Ndiaye Ntab is Director of the Africa Peace and Security Programme (APSP) and Tana Forum Head of Secretariat at the Institute for Peace and Security Studies (IPSS). All views expressed in the AfSol blog are solely the views of the authors and do not in any represent the views of the IPSS or APSP. For more information on AfSol Blog, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org