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Call to Action


AWLN Call to Action

High Level Women Leaders Forum for Africa’s Transformation

31 May - 02 June 2017

United Nations Headquarters

New York


We, African Women Leaders, meeting at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, on the occasion of the “Women Leaders Forum for Africa’s Transformation” held from 31 May to June 3, 2017, at the invitation of the African Union Commission (AUC) and UN WOMEN, with the support of the Federal Republic of Germany;


Mindful that Africa is at a turning point with the adoption of Agenda 2063 -The Africa We Want- and The Global Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development that put human capital, particularly women and youth at the centre of the new development agenda;

Acknowledging the global, continental and regional legal instruments, protocols, declarations and political decisions that have been adopted to promote gender equality and women’s empowerment; and progress made;

Committed to avoiding regression and ensuring that the gains made by African women in leadership are consolidated and sustained;

Recognizing the need for women to come together to galvanize the transformation of Africa into a peaceful, united and prosperous continent, free from all forms of violence;

Fully endorsing the establishment of a Network of African Women in Leadership – referred herein as the “The Network” – which aims to harness the wealth of African women’s experiences of leadership to enhance their contributions to transformation and stability on the continent, towards the effective realization of Africa’s Agenda 2063 and the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals,

We do hereby commit to:

  1. Establish and nurture an inclusive network comprising a diversity of women including young women, in leadership from all sectors of society including political, public, and private sectors, civil society, and grassroots women with recognised and emerging constituencies, and who actively engage in mobilization and participation at community level;

  2. Support the AUC for the implementation of Agenda 2063 “The Africa We Want” and the United Nations 2030 Sustainable Development Goals through African women, women in the diaspora and people of African descent members of “The Network”;

  3. Implement and further develop the roadmap for the establishment of The Network with an initial focus on governance, peace and security to accelerate implementation of UN Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) and other global and regional frameworks on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment, including through the development, adoption and effective implementation of National Action Plans on Women, Peace and Security;

  4. Enhance the role of women in the implementation of the African Union Roadmap for “Silencing the Guns by 2020”, keeping in mind that women and girls suffer differentially from the effect of armed conflicts in Africa;

  5. Hold our leaders accountable for implementing the agreed legal, institutional and policy frameworks and protocols;

  6. Influence dialogue and thought leadership on issues affecting women across Africa;

  7. Support women to be part of decision making processes including at the highest levels;

  8. Build solidarity amongst African women and cultivate strategic partnerships amongst existing and emerging networks, including regional African and global networks with similar objectives; and amongst leaders with impact at local levels and sizable participation of women in communities they represent;

  9. Undertake solidarity missions for conflict prevention and resolution, and to support the election of women to leadership positions including in national and local government, as appropriate;

  10. Nurture women’s leadership through exchange and documenting of lessons learned and experiences and mentoring of young women leaders, through intergenerational dialogues and platforms;

  11. Engage actively in all elections in Africa; and support women to contest for public office and to play a significant role in public life, including supporting free and fair electoral processes;

  12. Enhance South-South and North South partnerships to advance women leadership for Africa’s transformation;

  13. Mobilize financial and other resources for the sustainability of The Network, including through women leaders’ own expertise, talents and resources for harnessing ownership, and by encouraging responsibility and support from friends and partners;

  14. Mobilize African and Non-African Member States, African Union and United Nations Officials, as well as civil society and the private sector for the advancement of The Network through the creation of formal “Groups of Friends of the African Women Leaders Network” in Addis Ababa and in New York;

  15. Encourage Friends of The Network, including men, to support the advancement of women’s transformative leadership in Africa;

  16. Engage and utilize the media to qualitatively and quantitatively popularize The Network, promote its visibility and impact and advocate for an improved and comprehensive narrative of women’s leadership in Africa.


We, therefore call on:

1. African Union Member States to:

a. Accelerate the implementation of agreed legal, institutional and policy frameworks related to Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment;

b. Implement the parity principle at all levels and in all sectors to ensure women’s contribution to decision-making in all spheres of life;

c. End child marriages, provide quality education for all girls and ensure completion of schooling;

d. Enforce and ensure compliance for birth registration for every child in Africa to promote a people-centered development;

e. Eliminate violence against women.


2. African Union and the United Nations (including UNWOMEN) to:

a. Support the establishment and functioning of the Network at continental, sub-regional, national and community levels;

b. Document and disseminate the experiences of African women leaders;

c. Enhance synergies and collaboration with existing women networks on the continent and worldwide.

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