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African Union

AU Commission chairperson's 2nd progress report on the implementation of the solemn declaration on gender equality in Africa

Chairperson of the AU Commission

African Union Commission

SARPN acknowledges the African Union as the source of this document: www.africa-union.org
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Introduction

  1. This report is being submitted pursuant to the obligation under Article 13 of the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa (SDGEA) which enjoins the Chairperson of the Commission to submit an annual report for the consideration of the Heads of State and Government on measures taken to implement the principle of gender equality and gender mainstreaming at national, regional and continental levels.


  2. This report is based in part on the reports received from several Heads of State in keeping with their own commitment under the SDGEA Article 12 to provide updates on progress made regarding the implementation of the Declaration. The AU Commission applauds those member states that submitted reports, and encourages those who have not to do so.


  3. The AU Commission also received reports from several international agencies working in Africa on their implementation of the SDGEA. These reports are on the AU Website.
Measures undertaken to implement the SDGEA

  1. Five Measures by AUC in Putting the Necessary Institutional Fabric in Place:

    1. The Gender Audit

      1. The AU Commission has completed a gender audit. The audit revealed the extent to which the AU and its Organs have progressed in addressing gender and women's empowerment in their policies and programmes. The audit indicated that although some progress has been made, the AU Commission programme managers need to do more to achieve AU's commitments and objectives on gender equality and women's empowerment in Africa. The AU Commission commits itself to implement the recommendation of the Gender and Audit in its next Strategic Plan.


    2. The Gender Policy

      1. The development of the AU Gender Policy is at an advanced stage, The AU policy, once adopted, will provide a framework for gender mainstreaming and women's empowerment in Africa.


    3. The Five Year Gender Mainstreaming Strategic Plan

      1. The development of a Five Year Gender Mainstreaming Strategic Plan (GMSP) is at an advanced stage. The plan will provide a framework for AUC, RECs, AU Organs and Member States in gender mainstreaming and women's empowerment as well as contribute to the operationalization of the Gender Policy.


    4. Building Internal Capacity to Mainstream Gender

      1. In its efforts to build the internal capacity for gender mainstreaming, WGDD has piloted a Course on Gender Responsive Economic Policy Making in Africa and produced a handbook on good practices in mainstreaming gender in different sectors.


    5. Partnerships and Advocacy

      1. The WGDD has collaborated with civil society organizations, international organisations, RECs and other Directorates in its efforts to address gender and women's empowerment issues in Africa. In particular in August 2006, the WGDD collaborated with International Population Services (IPS) and launched an Advocacy Campaign on Younger Women's Higher Vulnerability to HIV/AIDS. Similarly the Directorate has collaborated with UN IDEP to pilot a Capacity Building course for Gender Responsive Economic Policy-Making in Africa this year. It is planned that this course will run twice every year. The course will contribute in bridging skills gap in formulation and implementation of gender responsive economic policies in Africa. Finally, the Directorate has worked closely with UNIFEM on Strengthening Women's Voices in Peace Processes.

        The WGDD also collaborated with the African Union Women's Committee, which acted in an advisory capacity to the Au Chairperson, to among other things; watch over progress towards gender equality on the continent, within the framework of the SDGEA. In this regard, the AUWC held two-day inaugural meeting from 28 to 29 April 2006 at AUC Headquarters in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.


  2. Measures undertaken by Member States:

    1. For the reporting States, national constitutions provide the basis for the right to gender equality. Many constitutions have equality clauses, which encompass for all people, including women, the right to equal protection by and under the law as well as prohibition of discrimination on the basis of sex.


    2. Many States have signed and ratified international human rights instruments that obligate them to advance gender equality. At National level, several States have formulated or are in the process of formulating laws that promote gender equality.


    3. Many States also have national policy frameworks that specifically address the issue of gender equality such as Gender Policies and policies to address poverty eradication. Many States have Gender Machineries that are responsible for overseeing the implementation of the SGDEA and other gender related commitments made by Governments.


    4. However, while the above efforts are commendable, achievement of human development in Africa will only be possible when gender equality and women's empowerment become a reality. Therefore member states are encouraged to translate commitments on gender equality and women's empowerment into national, regional and continental policies and programmes.




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