African Union Commission Celebrates International Women’s Day
Addis Ababa, 7 March 2014- The African Union Commission on Friday 07 March 2014 commemorated international women’s day at the AU head quarters in Addis Ababa under the theme “Stand-Alone Goal on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment in Post 2015 Agenda”. The International Women’s Day (IWD), celebrated on 8th March around the world is a celebration dedicated to salute all women for their achievements.
The Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma recalled that women have been fighting for equality for over a century. African women, she observed have been an integral part of this global movement since the days of anti slavery, anti colonialism and liberation movements, until today’s struggle for Africa’s development, peace, integration and prosperity.
In the statement delivered the Director for Women, Gender and Development Mrs Litha Musyimi Ogana, Dr Dlamini Zuma urged transformation of the continent in order to meet its development objectives.
“As we celebrate the 103rd International Women’s Day this year, the world and Africa are moving towards finalising the post-2015 development agenda. That is why we have made transformation as the foundation of the Common African Position on the post-2015 development agenda. Part of this transformation agenda is the mainstreaming of gender and women’s empowerment throughout all pillars and goals of the development agenda, with specific goals on gender equality and women’s empowerment”, the Chairperson noted.
The president of the AU Staff Association Mr Salla Sidig Hammad also addressed the ceremony. He said the association “joins African women in calling on our member states to expedite the ratification and implementation of the Protocol to the Charter on Human and People’s Rights on the Rights of Women in Africa, which guarantees comprehensive rights to women including the right to take part in the political process, to social and political equality with men, to control of their reproductive health, an end to female genital mutilation and meaningful participation in peace and security matters”. Mr Sallah also applauded the fact that Africa as a continent has 3 head of states and that the Chairperson of the African Union Commission is a woman, “something we haven’t seen in the other parts of the world and this is a lesson to be learnt from Africa”, he added.
The celebrations were also addressed by the Head of the UN Women in Ethiopia, Mrs. Lettie Chiwara.
The objective of the celebration of International Women’s Day is to review past progress of women’s development and more importantly, to look ahead at the opportunities of women in Africa and also to acknowledge the steps taken by the AU to achieve gender equality and women’s empowerment.
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