June 25th, 2014
We representatives of women’s rights, faith and community-based, civil society organizations, media and government from over 14 countries across the continent convened to deliberate on ‘Strengthening African Women’s Voices in the Post-2015 Processes’and the Africa We Want and Need.
We recognize that the Common African Position (CAP) has strong commitments to ensure that “No person – regardless of ethnicity, gender, geography, disability, race or other status – is denied universal human rights and basic economic opportunities.” African Heads of State specifically highlighted the inextricable link between gender equality, women’s rights, women’s empowerment and Africa’s structural transformation.
Within the Post-2015 global process, this recognition has led to a dedicated goal on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment. For gender equality and women’s empowerment to be truly transformative, it must be anchored in a human rights framework. In addition to a stand-alone goal, it is essential that women’s rights be a cross-cutting priority within the entire Sustainable Development Goals framework.
The prioritization of women’s rights will ensure that spatial, political, social and economic inequalities are addressed. Furthermore, the redistribution of wealth, power, opportunities and resources is critical for addressing prevalent inequalities between men and women, within and between countries. In addition, development cannot be achieved without peace, security and accountable governance as clearly articulated in CAP.
We therefore call for your support on the following:-
a) A transformative goal on gender equality, women’s rights and women’s empowerment;
b) Recognition, reduction and redistribution of unpaid care work – the burden of care falls disproportionately on women and girls and must be shared among men and women; the State; Private Sector, Communities;
c) Eliminate all forms of violence and discrimination against women and girls – in policies, laws and practices. This includes the elimination of harmful practices including FGM and early, child and forced marriage;
d) Universal access to sexual and reproductive health and rights; which would address unacceptably high levels of maternal mortality, teenage pregnancies, transmission of STIs, HIV/AIDS
e) Access to, control over and ownership of resources and assets including land, energy, credit, information and technology;
f) Mobilize domestic resources through innovative financing such as curbing illicit financial flows, eliminating tax havens, instituting progressive taxation, gender-responsive budgets, reallocating military expenditures and eliminating corruption;
g) Ensuring gender parity in decision-making, transparent and accountable governance at all levels
h) Addressing peace as stand-alone goal and also ensure its mainstreaming throughout all other goals with an emphasis on the principles of good governance and rule of law.
We urge you to keep the spaces open for meaningful CSO engagement in all stages of the formulation, implementation and monitoring of the Post 2015 development framework. We also emphasize the need to mobilize the maximum available resources tomeet existing human rights obligations and ensure the full enjoyment of economic and social rights, following principles of Common but Differentiated Responsibilities, non-retrogression for the diversity of actors engaged in development, especially women’s organizations and movements. As CSO representatives and other stakeholders, we are committed to work in partnership with African governments to ensure the realization of the above to deliver an inclusive, participatory and equitable Africa we want and need – not only for the next 15 years but for generations to come. Let this be our legacy.
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