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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

PAP challenges African govts to promote gender equality

Story by John Nhandara

AFRICAN governments have been challenged to play an oversight role in ensuring the implementation of policies that promote gender equality and speak to the advancement of women’s rights.

The need to bridge the gap in gender equality and equity was topical during commemorations to mark International Women’s Day at the Pan African Parliament (PAP) in Midrand, South Africa this Wednesday.

Also on the agenda was a call for action to end gender-based violence and harmful practices against women and girls.

“We acknowledged some weaknesses in terms of women’s advancement economically and socially in the continent. We have noted some religious and cultural stereotypes that put women far from development. We are looking forward to an Africa that has justice for women and that promotes inclusivity,” said Southern African Caucus- chairperson, Hon Pemmy Majodina.

Tanzanian MP, Hon Ng’wasi Kamani said, “We still have a lot of things to do to make sure that gender equality is achieved. We need women to claim decision-making positions so we add our voices and in that way, we can achieve gender equality.”

Attention was also drawn to the impact of digital gender gaps as well as economic and social inequalities in patriarchal societies.

“Our discussions were around this year’s theme, innovation and Technology for Gender Equality. Some gaps have been highlighted as well as opportunities that women can tap into digital technology,” noted Hon Miriam Chonya, PAP Southern caucus member.

Pan African Parliament President Chief Fortune Charumbira addressed the plenary reflecting on the institution’s progress in advocating for the ratification, domestication and implementation of African Union protocols on women’s rights among other programmes.

Since its inception, PAP has embarked on deliberate programmes earmarked to protect women’s rights and enhance gender equality and affirmative action for women across Africa.

The plenary attended by members of parliament from Africa, Pan African Parliament organs, and United Nations organisations agreed that it is time for action to ensure gender parity is a lived reality.

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