As a founding member of the Gender is My Agenda Campaign (GIMAC), ACCORD, in its capacity as Chair for 2020, attended the first virtual steering committee meeting, adapting to the new norm in the COVID-19 context. This meeting follows the 35th GIMAC meeting held from 3-4 February 2020 in Addis Ababa. As a civil society cross sectoral network focussed on mainstreaming gender equality, this GIMAC steering committee was convened to deliberate on civil societies’ response to the emerging developments of the COVID-19 context. Taking stock of the various women-led initiatives on the continent by Foreign Ministers, the AU Women Gender Directorate and the Ministers of Gender, the steering committee partners explored ways to respond to COVID-19 with a gender-lens and also reflected on the AU theme for 2020 on “Silencing the Guns” with emphasis on the GIMAC Theme – “Recognizing and Amplifying Women and Girl’s Agency to Silence the Guns in Africa” amid the pandemic.
The meeting highlighted that women have the agency, capacity and willingness to effectively respond to the pandemic. Women are already making inputs into communicating critical risk information to communities, countering misinformation, supporting national health systems, promoting solidarity, and protecting the most vulnerable while addressing the psychological, social and economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. Partners acknowledged the work done by African Union member states to curb the spread of the virus but the situation across the continent clearly indicates that more work lies ahead.
ACCORD was represented by Ms Pravina Makan-Lakha,General Manager of Operations and Business Development, and Ms Nontobeko Zondi, Operations Programme Officer.