Pan African Parliament concludes 2-day workshop on Women’s Rights - AFRICAN PARLIAMENTARY NEWS



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Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Pan African Parliament concludes 2-day workshop on Women’s Rights

The 12th Pan African Conference on Women’s Rights has called on member states of the African Union to put in place, deliberate programmes to empower women to actively participate in the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) and to opt for gender responsive policies to improve inclusiveness.
This was one of the resolutions adopted by the Conference which took place on October 14 and 15 on the sidelines of the Third Ordinary Session of the Fifth Parliament of the Pan African Parliament (PAP) in Midrand, South Africa.
Other resolutions taken by the Conference included a call on parliamentarians to monitor the negotiations, implementation and impact of the AfCFTA with particular focus on the participation of women as well as build the capacity of women so that they can add value to commodities with the view of increasing the production and supply of communities. It also urged AU member states to sign, ratify, domesticate and or implement the Maputo Protocol and other AU legal instruments relating to the rights of women and create awareness among women parliamentarians, on the existing gaps between policy framework on women’s rights and actual realities of African women’s rights.
The Conference brought together, parliamentarians from African Union member states, members of PAP, representatives of the United Nations and its agencies particularly the UNHCR, representatives from development institutions, development partners, African Diplomatic Corps accredited to South Africa, academics, women and youth organizations. The guest of honour was Mrs. Bridgette Motsepe Radabe, PAP Goodwill Ambassador, Economic Development and Women Empowerment, CEO of Mmakau Mining while Hon. Haidara Aichata Cisse, 2nd Vice President of PAP delivered the opening speech.  
In focus was role of parliamentarians in empowering women through the enforcement of legislations as well as devising ways to monitor the implementation of relevant instruments protecting and promoting the rights of women.
The Conference featured five panel discussions. Panel 1 with the theme “Promoting Women Right” discussed the “strategies for the implementation of women’s right with particular reference to the Maputo Protocol, the situation of women refugees, returnees and internally displaced persons, women’s health with particular focus on violence against women, challenges on domestication and implementation”.
Panel 2 with the theme “Economic Empowerment of Women in Africa” discussed the “challenges faced by women in the access and control of productive resources, education, use of ICT, mechanisms to access finance and particularly the ways to enhance women’s participation towards economic development relating to the implementation of the African Continental Free Trade Area”.
Panel 3 with the theme “Gender equitable Africa” emphasized by the Agenda 2063, involved a review of the implementation roadmap of the African Women’s Decade (2010 – 2020) and evaluated the implementation of agreed global and regional commitments of gender equality and women empowerment.
Panel 4 with the theme “The Role of parliamentarians” explored ways and tools to build the capacity of the Members of Parliament to put in place, effective and functioning systematic structures and mechanisms to monitor and fast track the ratification of AU Protocols and Maputo Protocol in AU member states that deal with women matters and also tried to bridge the gap between policies and the inequality reality of women in Africa.
The last panel discussed “Empowering the Pan African Women Parliamentarians on the African Continental Free Trade Area.
Declaring the Conference closed, President of the Pan African Parliament Rt. Hon. Roger Nkodo Dang thanked all the panelists and participants for attending the two-day event, noting that the resolutions and recommendations made by the conference represented political commitments by African parliamentarians to contribute towards the betterment of African citizens.

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