ACCORD has participated in the 26th Gender in my Agenda Campaign (GIMAC) Pre-Summit Consultative Meeting on Gender Mainstreaming in the African Union (AU) and Member States to support the empowerment of women in all spheres of society.
The consultative meeting was aimed at proposing solutions to address the problems of women and girls in Africa, and to compile best practices to put forward to heads of state and practitioners on how to implement the recommendations of the previous GIMAC summit, and gather solutions for the implementation of the non-negotiable protocols on gender. The consultative meeting also generated best practices in ending sexual and gender based violence against women and girls, and the provision of quality and accessible health services.
The 26th GIMAC Pre-Summit Consultative Meeting was held in Sandton, Johannesburg from 8-9 June 2015. It was organised by key GIMAC members including: Femmes Africa Solidarite’ (FAS), Africa Leadership Forum (ALF), Institute for Social Transformation, ACCORD, Forum for African Women Educationalists (FAWE), Ipas Africa Alliance, Women in Law and Development in Africa (WiLDAF), Egyptian Business Women Association (EBWA), Isis-Women’s International Cross-Cultural Exchange (Isis-WICCE), Abantu for Development, West African Women Association (WAWA), and Foundation for Community Development (FDC). The workshop brought together over 50 participants. In attendance were Madame Bineta Diop – the AU Chairperson’s Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security, Mr Said Djinnit – the United Nations Special Envoy for the Great Lakes Region, HE Mrs Fatima Acyl Commissioner for Trade and Industry representing Dr Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma – Chairperson of the African Union Commission, Ms Susan Shabangu – Minister for Women’s Affairs Republic of South Africa, and Mrs Assetou Koite – President Panafrican Womens Organisation. ACCORD was represented by Mr Vasu Gounden – Executive Director at ACCORD, Ms Pravina Makan-Lakha – Manager, ACCORD’s Business Development Unit, and Ms Olivia Victoria Davies – Peacekeeping Unit Programme Officer.
The discussions in the conference were centred on six thematic areas: these include health, education, agriculture, peace and security, economic empowerment, and financial development for women. Significant best practices and recommendations from these thematic areas emerged from the deliberations particularly in the area of health and education, as well as methods for financing core deliverables. In the area of health, the key recommendations that stood out are the need to equip health centres in rural areas with ambulances, nurses, doctors, and electricity; as well as the need for quality services in addition to infrastructure, to eliminate teenage pregnancies and child marriage. States were encouraged to ensure the reform of laws that address the issues faced by women and girls. On education, the key recommendations that stood out include the need for prioritisation of education as development; the need for financing education, and the need for leadership commitment and global partnerships. Emphasis was placed on the establishment of a Bank for women in order to implement these recommendations as there is nothing micro about women.