Addis Ababa, 19 November 2014 (ECA) - African ministers responsible for gender and women’s affairs, attending the 9th African Regional Conference on Women for the twenty-year review of the implementation of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPfA) in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia on 19 November 2014 adopted a Declaration calling for their respective governments to achieve gender equality by 2030, as spelled out in the Agenda 2063.
Despite progress in efforts for more gender equality, the ministers noted that there remained daunting challenges to implementing BPfA, and that those challenges were compounded by emerging issues, such as climate change, terrorism, conflicts, global economic and financial crises and increasing inequality.
Only bold action can overturn Africa’s fortune, the Ministers said in their Declaration: “Africa’s positive development landscape and the boldness of the structural transformation agenda of the continent have the potential to scaling up investments for the advancement of women and gender equality.”
In the closing remarks, Ms Lakshimi Puri, UN Women Deputy Executive Director said that now was time for action. “2030 is the expiry deadline for achieving gender equality and women’s empowerment in all spheres of life. We need to seize the big opportunity offered to us to do so. We can’t afford to look back in 20 years and be disappointed that we have not achieved our goals.”
The Declaration called for African governments to allocate adequate resources by adopting appropriate strategies, including gender budgeting; to accelerate the strategies, including gender budgeting; to accelerate the implementation of the remaining gaps from the BPfA through strengthened domestic resource mobilization and allocation to women’s needs.
It also called on international partners, both bilateral and multilateral, including organizations of the United Nations system, to provide adequate technical and financial support for Africa’s development efforts.
Governments and development partners were also asked to provide the space and resources for the women’s movement in Africa to play their critical role of providing services to women and girls and demanding accountability for the implementation of agreed upon national, regional and global commitments on gender equality and women’s empowerment.
The Declaration welcomedthe decision of the Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union Commission declaring 2010-2020 as the African women decade and the year 2015 as the “Year of Women’s Empowerment and Development towards realizing Africa’s Agenda 2063”.
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