• September 19th, 2020

Virus threatens to wipe out gender equality gains



Pan Africa Women’s Organisation (PAWO) President Eunice Iipinge says the Covid-19 pandemic has the potential to derail the gains towards women empowerment. 
While celebrating African women last week, Iipinge said the unprecedented global pandemic is threatening to wipe out progress on some of the gains made in promoting gender equality and women empowerment. 

“Unity is our strength and diversity is our power. Therefore, let us use our united collective efforts to fight against racism and Covid-19, which have potential to derail our gains towards women empowerment,” Iipinge maintained. 
The PAWO event took place within the context of the global celebrations of the 25th anniversary of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action, as well as the 20th anniversary of the United Nations Security Council Resolution (UNSCR) 1 325. 
The celebrations also coincided with the end of the first African Women’s Decade (AWD) 2010-2020 on “Grassroots Approaches to Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment”, as well as the adoption of the new African Women’s Decade 2020-2030. 
The agenda focuses on ‘Financial and Economic Inclusion of African Women’ aligned to Agenda 2063. 
Iipinge said the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action remain the most comprehensive and transformative global agenda for achieving gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls. 

“There is significant progress made after the adoption of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action; however, we are noticing a reversal of these gains. We, therefore, need to unite our collective efforts and action to realise women rights,” she remarked. 
Equally, she said, PAWO, being the AU’s specialised agency dedicated to gender equality and women’s empowerment, it has an important role to play in advocating for the integration of gender equality and the inclusion of women in Covid-19 decision-making processes. 
She believes the effect of Covid-19 can only be successfully dealt with if the continent can draw on all its resources and talents and if women can participate fully in economic, social, and political life. 
She added it was, therefore, important for governments to accelerate actions against the impact of Covid-19 on gender equality and women empowerment. 

She also suggested the government’s assistance programmes take childcare needs into account. 
She called upon women and men in leadership, as well as citizens to respond to the Covid-19 pandemic guidelines and priorities, particularly the impact of the virus, as it disproportionally affects girls and women, compared to boys and men – and critically analyse the situation and take into account women experience and skills in response to the pandemic. 
– anakale@nepc.com.na


Albertina Nakale
2020-08-05 08:53:12 | 1 months ago

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