The African Union Commission Heads of States Assembly marked the year 2021 with the theme ‘the Year of Arts, Culture and Heritage in Africa’, and to commensurate this theme, the Gender Is My Agenda Campaign (GIMAC) Network has been hosting virtual events focused on arts, culture and heritage. The GIMAC Network convened its 3rd Strategic Engagement with the AU, Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Partners on 11 and 12 October 2021 featuring the AU theme of the year. The engagement provided the opportunity to consolidate a common position on the effectiveness and efficiency of the RECs, AU and Member States in mainstreaming gender equality.
The deliberations included Civil Society Organisations’ (CSOs) review of the AU legal and strategic framework on arts, culture and heritage focusing on achievements and critical gaps towards implementation. The delegates also made recommendations for inclusive, effective and efficient strategies that enhance and utilize the agency and role of women and girls in realizing the vision for a strong cultural identity, common heritage, shared values and ethics, building on the opportunities provided by the African Continental Free Trade Area, AU Reforms and AU Men’s Conference on Ending Violence Against Women and Girls. The network celebrated, documented and shared best practices on innovations and positive approaches to arts and culture that advance gender equality and provided space for African CSO’s strategic engagement with AU, RECs, United Nations Agencies, International Organizations.
ACCORD’s General Manager of Programmes, Ms Karishma Rajoo, moderated the session, “Taking Stock of Women, Arts and Culture in Peace and Security”. Other sessions, deliberated on Women and Girls Economic Empowerment; Art and Culture as Protest: Analysing Women’s Leadership in Historical and Contemporary Struggles; Culture and Women and Girl’s Human Rights in Africa; Education; and Gender Equality in Health in Africa. The GIMAC Network remains committed to encouraging women empowerment and skills development that will ultimately enable women’s meaningful contribution to the socio-economic development aspirations outlined in Agenda 2063 and Sustainable Development Goals.
ACCORD’s commitment to working with partners like the GIMAC Network aims to continuously enhance the role of women in peace processes so that they equally lead in peace processes. This particular platform, partnering with GIMAC, strengthens the capacity of regional and national civil society organizations towards systematically monitoring nation