UN Gender Cluster consults with AU Gender Directorate on continental gender strategy
The UN Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women and Youth cluster convened for a consultative meeting with experts from the African Union Women, Gender and Development Directorate (WGDD) to deliberate on the the latter's draft gender strategy which will serve as a continental policy document once completed. A core purpose of the meeting was for the Directorate to receive inputs from UN agencies, funds and programmes with UNOAU being one amongst contributors.
Other objectives for the consultative meeting included assessing capacities and resources required for operationalizing the strategy, sharing best practices and lessons learned on Gender Equality and Women's Empowerment (GEWE), finalising the policy framework of the gender strategy and establishing monitoring tools for tracking implementation. Among several expected outcomes was the development of a UN proposal that would highlight inputs from all UN entities on the ground taking into consideration regional and international frameworks such as the African Union's Agenda 2063 and the United Nations, 2030 Agenda or Sustainable Development Goals among others. The gender strategy features broad themes on the economic and social empowerment of women, women's participation in governance and decision-making processes, women's iclusion in peace and security issues and lastly, women and media.
In the discussion, some ideas shared included ensuring that the strategy raises broader issues affecting women such as forced displacement and unpaid labour. On the other hand, participants also put emphasis on the need for accountability and more collaborative efforts across various stakeholders. It was also noted that a communication strategy should be develped to support advocacy and implementation. Inputs from the UN will be consolidated towards the end of November as the Directorate plans to present the gender strategy to African countries' ministers early December 2017.