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Addis Ababa African Social Forum

9 January 2003

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CONCERNED that pervasive gender discrimination against women in Africa continues to place African women in a disadvantaged position;

FURTHER concerned of the continued marginalisation of the principles of gender equity and gender equality in the process of social transformation;

NOTING that gender issues continue to be treated as an "add on or "an annex' and also only as a conditionality for legitimising receipt of financial aid and neo-liberal partnerships;

CONSIDERING that the African Social Forum aims, among others, to build a space for convergence between the various components of the African civil society, which rejects the neo-liberal model in its national, continental and international events;

RECALLING that, women's rights have been recognised and guaranteed in all international human rights instruments, notably the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights, the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination Against Women, the African Charter on the Rights and Welfare of the Child, and all other international and regional conventions and covenants relating to the rights of women as being inalienable, interdependent and indivisible human rights;

FURTHER CONSIDERING the absence of women in the shaping and monitoring of the macro-economic policies which influence their livelihoods;

COMMITTED to the full participation of African women as equal partners and beneficiaries of Africa's development;

We therefore resolve that the Africa Social Forum should:
  1. Provide in its Charter a clear vision and principle for promoting gender equity and gender equality in the African continent;

  2. Adopt a 50:50 ratio representation of women and men as a mechanism for mainstreaming gender in all its processes and activities;

  3. Promote and support strategies on elimination of gender discrimination against women as stipulated in regional and international declarations and conventions;

  4. Commit its structures to urge the constituent social movements and organisations at national level to ensure implementation of gender principles;

  5. Popularise the draft Protocol on women to the African Charter and advocate for its adoption by the African Union and its implementation by the member states;

  6. Call on the global social forum to unequivocally commit itself to the principles of gender equality in all its policies, structures and activities.

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