• Mylande Edoun

Women Leaders’ Consultation on the African Union 2nd Men’s Conference

Updated: Nov 4


Advancing Actions and Promoting Positive Masculinity to End Violence Against

Women and Girls

 




Background

The Inaugural African Union Men’s Conference on Positive Masculinity in Leadership to End Violence Against Women and Girls was held on the 25th of November 2021, in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) on the International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls. The first Men’s Conference was convened under the leadership of His Excellency Felix Antoine Tshisekedi Tshilombo, President of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and the AU 2021 Chairperson, in collaboration with H.E. Cyril Ramaphosa, President of the Republic of South Africa and the AU 2020 Chairperson; H.E. Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Senegal and the AU 2022 Chairperson; H.E. Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana and the AU Leader on Gender and Development Issues in Africa; H.E. Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, former President of the Republic of Liberia and Patron of the African Women Leaders Network (AWLN) as well as H.E. Moussa Faki Mahamat, the Chairperson of the AU Commission (AUC).


This historic Conference adopted the Kinshasa Declaration and Call to Action on Positive Masculinity, which was subsequently adopted as an AU Assembly decision during the AU Heads of State Summit in February 2022. The Declaration and Call to Action, amongst others, enjoins AU Heads of State to report annually on actions taken and progress made to end VAWG in Africa.

It is against this background that the Second AU Men’s Conference on Positive Masculinity will be convened to provide a platform to share strategies and account for action taken to implement the Kinshasa Declaration and other initiatives to engage men and boys in the promotion of positive masculinity approaches.


Leading up to the First AU Men’s conference, a series of consultations were held with critical stakeholders representing AU citizens.. In keeping with this methodology, stakeholder consultations with Traditional and Religious Leaders; Women’s Rights Organizations; Men’s Organizations; Business; Young People; Women Leaders and Male Leaders in various sectors such as Media and Sports will precede the Second Men’s Conference. The outcome reports from the stakeholder consultations will feed into the recommendations made to Heads of State and Government.

Rationale for the Consultation with Women Leaders

The United Nations Declaration of 1993 defines VAWG as any act of gender-based violence that results in, or is likely to result in, physical, sexual, or psychological harm or suffering to women, including threats of such acts, coercion or arbitrary deprivation of liberty, whether occurring in public or in private life. These abuses disproportionately impact on women. The gendered nature of VAWG commends us to involve both men and women in all aspects of eliminating this scourge. These trends have worsened by the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic; as Violence Against Women and Girls has drastically increased.



The Kinshasa Declaration and its call to Action as well as the AU Decision have paved the way for meaningful involvement of men at the highest level in the fight against VAWG. Effective male engagement must be accountable to women. Interventions should acknowledge women’s existing contributions towards gender equality, and create opportunities for leveraging this work and for collaboration with women and women’s groups to ensure that efforts are accountable to women’s rights and empowerment, women’s organizations, and women themselves. Male involvement in VAWG programming has been seen to present challenges, including but not limited to the risks of depoliticizing gender equality work and diverting funding and capacity from women’s organizations. When male allies do not follow or engage with women-led efforts, they perpetuate gender inequality — the very problem that we aim to address.


To this end, Women Leaders are convening a pre-conference consultation, ahead of the Second Men’s Conference on Positive Masculinity themed ‘Advancing Actions and Promoting Positive Masculinity to End Violence Against Women and Girls.’ The main aim is to discuss strategies to ensure that male leaders making commitments to end VAWG and gender inequality remain accountable to women and girls in Africa.

Objective and expected outcome

Format

Date

Venue



For further information, contact;

  • Ms. Fatou Sombie | AWLN Focal Person / NY | E-mail: awlnetwork2017@gmail.com

  • Ms. Mylande ODJO | Communication | E-mail: odjoedounmylande@gmail.com

71 views0 comments