2022 marks the 60th anniversary of the Pan-African Women’s Organisation (PAWO), PAWO is Africa’s first collective women’s organization, which has contributed to the struggle for the continent’s liberation from colonialism, the elimination of apartheid and the eradication of gender inequalities, discrimination and injustices against women.
Since its establishment in 1962 in Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania, a year before the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) now the African Union, PAWO’s mission has been to ensure that women’s concerns are integrated in Africa’s liberation agenda and that women participate, equally, fully and effectively, in the political, economic, social and cultural life of the continent. PAWO, a Specialised Agency of the African Union, has played an important role in mobilizing African women on the continent and the Diaspora to rally around collective struggles for a free and prosperous Africa.
In this regard, Africa marks the Africa’s Women’s Day on the 31st of July each year to celebrate and acknowledge the Foremothers of Africa who gallantly fought for the liberation and development of this continent.
The African Union has begun 2022 activities leading to the 31st July commemoration in collaboration with PAWO. The theme of the month-long celebrations is ‘Towards the African Women’s Decade: Realizing Women’s Human Capital through accelerated social and economic development, addressing the scourge of violence, food insecurity and good nutrition on the African continent’.
Among the activities have been the launch of the End of Term Review Report of the 1st African Women’s Decade on Grassroots Approach to Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment on the on 07 July, 2022. The Report details progress across the African continent, as reported by responsive Member States on the ten themes of the first African Women’s Decade that was implemented between 2010 and 2020. It sheds light on achievements and the challenges outlined in Member States’ responses, as well as their suggestions for next steps forward.
The Report follows on from the findings of the AWD Mid-Term Status Update developed for the period (2010-2015) and gives recommendations for sustaining and building on the gains in the second African Women Decade on Financial and Economic Inclusion 2020-2030. Read the Report here: https://au.int/en/documents/20220707/african-womens-decade-report-2010-…
Ms. Prudence Ngwenya, Acting Director of the Women, Gender and Youth Directorate, AU Commission observes that, “the launch of this Report serves as an official closure of the first African Women’s Decade in preparation for the second African Women’s Decade on Financial and Economic Inclusion 2020-2030. However, let me hasten to caution that there is no closure to gender equality and women’s empowerment. The ten themes of the African Women’s Decade are as relevant today as they were in 2010 when the Decade was first declared. We will continue to prioritize the issues and especially accelerate actions to ensure that the objectives of the first Decade are realized.”
Ms. Eunice Lipinge, the President of Pan African Women’s Organisation adds, “while celebrating the milestones of the last decade, let us continue to be cognizant of the challenges that are outlined in the report, as we implement the African Women’s Decade on Financial and Economic Inclusion (2020 – 2030).
Following the launch of the AWD report on 07 July, the remainder of the celebrations throughout the month will include:
- Validation and Launch of the Programme of Work of the African Union Gender Champion, H. E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana.
- Launch of the Roadmap of the Second African Women’s Decade on Financial and Economic Inclusion for African Women and its flagship programme, the Women and Youth Financial and Economic Inclusion (WYFEI-2030) initiative that is led by the Deputy Chairperson of the African Union Commission, H.E. Dr. Monique Nsanzabagwana.
- The Civil Society Gender Pre-Summit under the auspices of the Gender is my Agenda Campaign Network, GIMAC
- High-level celebrations on 31 July, 2022 to be held in a hybrid form online and in- person in Windhoek, Namibia.