Addis Ababa – 21 July, 2016: The African Union Commission, in the margins of the 27 AU Summit in Kigali, launched the first ever report on the “Implementation of the Women, Peace and Security Agenda in Africa” . The report which was launched on the 9th of July, 2016, during the Third AU High Level Panel on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, seeks to form the basis for enhanced dialogue and engagement with AU Member States and Regional Economic Communities, civil society, and other key stakeholders on accelerating implementation, as well as better informing the African Union’s engagement with international interlocutors and partners on the Women, Peace and Security agenda in Africa.The report canvasses the legislative and administrative mechanisms and machineries put in place at all levels to support the advancement of the Women, Peace, and Security agenda in Africa, as well as progress made on performance where data and information exists. It includes various case studies of achievements on participation in the nineteen Member States that have adopted UNSCR 1325 National Action Plans, including on parliamentary representation, leadership, and special measures; ministerial level representation; participation in peacekeeping; and in peace agreements. It concludes by identifying key, high-impact intervention areas at local/national, regional, continental, and international levels to accelerate implementation and impact, including on issues of financing and evidence-based monitoring.
Speaking at the launch, the AU Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security, H.E. Mme Bineta Diop said, ‘’Much has been said on the need to bridge the gap between policy and implementation – this is even more so in the area of women, peace, and security. Indeed, the women, peace, and security agenda has developed an elaborate architecture at global, continental, and regional levels. Sadly, progress for women on the ground has not matched this elaborate architecture. As the African Union Commission shifts its orientation from policy formulation to support Member States and Regional Economic Communities in the transformation of commitments into concrete, sustained implementation, the importance of utilizing monitoring and reporting tools to drive accelerated delivery should be recognized.’’
The launch, which took place in the Parliament of the Republic of Rwanda, was attended by over four hundred people; ministers of gender and of women empowerment, parliamentarians and other leading politicians, women in civil society and in grassroots movements, and policy makers from national institutions and international organizations. It is worth noting that the venue of the launch, the Parliament of Rwanda, remains a remarkable symbol of women’s empowerment in Africa and in the world, with a leading representation of 64% of women parliamentarians.