The African Union Gender Pre-Summit held recently was a watershed moment for stakeholders involved in gender equality and health equity in the Africa. As African Renaissance, we had the privilege to participate in the continental meeting.
The Summit, which took place under the theme, “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in Youth to Achieve Gender Equality,” was a significant event that brought together various actors, including policymakers, civil society organizations and grassroots movements, to discuss policies and strategies that can promote gender equality, helath equity and socio-economic justice in Africa.
The Pre-Summit was organized in the lead-up to the 33rd African Union (AU) Summit, which took place on February 9th and 10th, 2023. The AU Summit was an excellent opportunity for African leaders to build on the momentum generated during the Gender Pre-Summit and adopt policies and commitments that can advance gender equality in Africa.
During the Gender Pre-Summit, various speakers highlighted the challenges facing women and girls in Africa, particularly with regards to their sexual and reproductive health and rights. Several participants underscored the need for increased investment in comprehensive sexuality education, family planning, and maternal health services to improve women’s health outcomes in the continent.
Participants also emphasized the need to address the gendered impact of the COVID-19 pandemic in Africa, which has disproportionately affected women and girls, particularly those living in poverty. As such, there were calls for policymakers to prioritize gender-responsive policies and programs that can support women’s economic empowerment and reduce gender-based violence.
Finally, the Gender Pre-Summit was a platform for sharing best practices and success stories from across the continent. Several African countries, including Burundi, Rwanda, Ethiopia and South Africa, were praised for their efforts in promoting gender equality and youth empowerement particularly in political representation and socio-economic support.
We believe that the African Union Gender Pre-Summit was a critical event that highlighted the challenges and opportunities in gender equality and health equity in Africa.
Caroline Kwamboka N., Director, African Renasissance committed that we will be working with other stakeholders to build on the momentum generated during the Pre-Summit and advocate for policies and programs that will advance gender equality and health equity in Africa.