ADDIS ABABA– The Second Women Leaders Forum for Africa’s Transformation opened at the African Union (AU) Commission headquarters here Tuesday with the aim of enhancing women’s contributions in building and sustaining peace, security and political processes for sustainable economic and social transformation towards the realization of the continent’s Agenda 2063 and the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development.
Speaking at the opening of the forum, AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat said the African Women Leaders Network (AWLN) would support the Commission in the implementation of the agendas and help to enhance the role of women in the implementation of the AU Roadmap on Practical Steps to Silence the Guns in Africa by 2020.
According to him, the active participation of women is crucial for socio-economic and political development of the continent since they are agents of change in conflict prevention activities.
Ethiopia’s Permanent Representative to the AU, Woinshet Tadesse, said Ethiopia had made significant changes in promoting gender equality and empowerment of women through the efforts of the government. She said the country had recently adopted a National Women Development and Change Strategy and Package to guide the implementation of the different policies towards the achievement of gender equality and empowerment.
Woinshet added that women’s representation in regional and district councils had reached 40.2 and 50 per cent respectively. Currently, we also have a newly elected (woman) Speaker of the House of People’s Representatives.
Ethiopian women also play a pivotal role in peacekeeping missions at international and regional levels, she said, adding: There are more than 800 women under the UN and AU peacekeeping missions at the contingent and military observer status.
According to her, Ethiopia has created an enabling and encouraging environment for the proliferation of grassroots associations and local community structures, including women development arm and women’s associations to enhance the participation and leadership role of urban and rural women.
The three-day forum is being held under the theme: Women Working Together for the Africa We Want: From Commitment to Action.
Source: NAM NEWS NETWORK