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Gender Mainstreaming in the African Union

Gender Mainstreaming in the African Union

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Gender Mainstreaming in the African Union

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  1. Gender Mainstreaming in the African Union Presented by ‘Kemi Ogunsanya African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) at the Gender and ESDP Course Budapest, Hungary 19 April 2007

  2. Transition from OAU to AU • The Organisation of African Unity (OAU) was created on May 25, 1963 by Pan-African leaders to combat colonialism and imperialism in Africa. • African leaders saw the OAU had fulfilled its objectives, as many countries were now independent and liberated. • The cold war was over and this left the Continent with insurmountable intra-state violent conflicts and civil wars. • Over 30 countries out of 53 African states have experienced war or violent conflict in the 1990s. • The African Union (AU) was created in 2001 to deal with the new challenges facing the Continent.

  3. Africa Conflict Map 1990-2005 W. Sahara Algeria Eritrea Mauritania Mali Niger Djibouti Sudan Senegal Chad Somalia Guinea B. Nigeria Ethiopia CAR Uganda Guinea Togo Cote d’Ivoire Kenya DRC S. Leone Rwanda Liberia R. Congo Burundi Angola Comoros Mozambique Madagascar Lesotho

  4. Purpose of the AU • The African Union was launched in Durban on 9 July 2002, by its first President, Thabo Mbeki of South Africa. • The purpose of the Union is to help secure Africa’s democracy, human rights and a sustainable economy. • The AU intends to have a single currency, integrated defence force and an effective common market. • The AU’s first military intervention was in Burundi (AMIB), followed by Sudan (AMIS), and most recently Somalia (AMISOM). • The New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD) is an economic development programme of the AU, with its headquarters in South Africa.

  5. Overview: Official Bodies of the AU The AU is governed by the Assembly of Heads of State and the Pan African Parliament. • Assembly of the African Union – is composed of Heads of member States and Governments, and is the supreme governing body of the Union. • Pan-African Parliament – is the highest legislative body of the AU. • African Commission – is the secretariat of the AU, composed of ten commissioners and support staff based in Addis Ababa. Responsible for administration and co-ordination of AU’s activities and meetings. • Executive Council – is composed of ministers designated by governments of member states and is accountable to the Assembly. Oversees matters of foreign trade, social security, communications, food and agriculture. • Permanent Representatives’ Committee – consists of nominated permanent secretaries of member states. The committee prepares the work of the Executive Council.

  6. Overview: Official Bodies of the AU • Specialised Technical Committees – addresses specific matters on rural economy and Agriculture; monetary and financial affairs; trade, customs and immigration; transport, communication and tourism; health, labour and social affairs; education, culture and human resources. • African Court of Justice – is composed of eleven judges to rule on human rights abuses in Africa. The Court will be situated in East Africa, Kenya and Uganda have expressed interest to host the Court. • Economic, Social and Cultural Council – is an advisory organ composed of professional and civic representatives. • Peace and Security Council – composed of 15 members responsible for monitoring and intervening in conflicts, with an African Standby Force operational by 2010. • Financial Institutions – African Central Bank, African Investment Bank, African Monetary Fund. For more information on the AU, please visit

  7. What is Gender Mainstreaming? “Mainstreaming a gender perspective is the process of assessing the implications for women and men of any planned action, including legislation, policies or programmes, in any area and at all levels. It is a strategy for making women’s as well as men’s concerns and experiences an integral dimension in the design, implementation, monitoring and evaluation of policies and programmes in all political, economic and societal spheres so that women and men benefit equally and inequality is not perpetuated. The ultimate goal is to achieve gender equality” (UNECSOC 1997)

  8. Gender Mainstreaming in the AU • Durban Declaration 2002 – facilitated by ACCORD and Femmes Africa Solidarité (FAS) • The Document was presented to the Committee of Ambassadors and Council of Ministers. • This Council adopted the establishment of a gender machinery in the AU. • The Chairperson of the AU Commission is responsible for mainstreaming gender in all programme activities of the Union.

  9. Gender Mainstreaming in the AU • At the session of Heads of State and Government, chaired by President Thabo Mbeki, President Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal put forward the Consultation’s recommendations to the Assembly. • The Assembly unanimously adopted gender parity (50 per cent representation of women) in the AU Commission. • Five of the 10 Commissioners from each of the five regions is a woman. • Specialised Technical Team on Gender was established under Article 14 of the Constitutive Act for effective mainstreaming of gender at all structures of decision-making in the AU.

  10. Gender Mainstreaming in the AU • The Protocol on Women’s Rights in Africa was adopted in Mozambique, July 2003. • At the first AU Conference of Ministers Responsible for Gender Affairs held in Dakar, Senegal in October 2005, two documents were adopted to assist in responsible reporting on gender equity: • The implementation Framework for the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa (SDGEA) • Guidelines for Monitoring and Reporting on the SGDEA. • The AU Commission develops composite reports based on the reports submitted by member states.

  11. Gender Mainstreaming in the AU Election of Gertrude Mongella as first female President of the Pan African Parliament in 2004, and Alpha Oumar Konaré, first Chairman of the AU Commission.

  12. Gender Mainstreaming in the AU • The African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) was established in 2001 to fulfill the commitments of NEPAD. • Balanced representation in APRM appointments in 2003. • Ms. Graca Machel, Mozambique • Amb. Bethuel Kiplagat, Kenya • Ms. Marie Angelique Savane, Senegal • Mr. Chris Staals of South Africa • Ms. Dorothy Njeuma, Cameroon • Prof. Adebayo Adedeji, Nigeria • 27 countries currently participating in APRM • 6 countries have completed their review • Thematic Areas: • Democracy and good governance • Economic and corporate management • Socio-economic development

  13. Presidents Abdoulaye Wade of Senegal and Thabo Mbeki of South Africa were the first recipients of the Award in 2005. President Abdoulaye Wade with Chancellor Angela Merkel Thabo Mbeki, President of South Africa

  14. ACCORD received the TOMBOUCTOU AWARD in June 2006, in recognition for its contribution to gender and security on the Continent, and gender mainstreaming in the African Union. Vasu Gounden, Founder & ED of ACCORD

  15. Gender Mainstreaming in the African Union Presented by ‘Kemi Ogunsanya African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes (ACCORD) at the Gender and ESDP Course Budapest, Hungary 19 April 2007