UN Women, EU partner to support feminist organisations in Africa

UN Women, EU partner to support feminist organisations in Africa

By Abiemwense Moru European Union and UN Women on Thursday partnered to support feminist organisations to end violence against women and girls in Africa.

Ms Beatrice Eyong, the UN Women Representative to Nigeria and ECOWAS, made this known during a Regional Consultation with womens’ rights organisations, ahead of the annual UN 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence in Abuja.

She said the initiative focused on strengthening global and regional advocacy, coalition building and transformative feminist action to end violence against women.

According to her, the three-year initiative will contribute to leveraging regional movements and networks and create mass action and support.

Eyong said “it is a real implementation of the theme of the 16 Days of Activism Campaign — “UNITE, Invest to Prevent Violence Against Women and Girls.

She explained that research had shown that the presence of a strong and autonomous feminist movement is critical to drive change in ending violence against women and girls in policy making and transforming social norms and power relations.

She said “we all need to work together as a region with solidarity and network, and multilateral actions.

“In the intergovernmental space, that means engaging with member states to urgently bring about legislative changes.

It means funding long-term legal advocacy for these rights.

“And it means fully supporting women and girls’ networks and movements, including financially.

“At the local level, we must work to change the social norms that drive backlash against women’s rights.

We are guided in all of these work by the Sustainable Development Goals, especially Goal 5.

“It is also critical to continue forging multilateral and intergenerational partnerships, supporting the participation of young people.

Eyong further explained that UN Women saw the impact of these at the Generation Equality Forum, which launched an Action Coalition on ending violence against women.

She said “our task now is to ensure that commitments made toward a world free of Gender-Based Violence are accompanied by investments and actions.

The Focal Person for Youth, Gender and Human Rights in the delegation of the EU to Nigeria, Mrs Esme Stuart, said investing in women organisations was necassary to end violence againt women and girls.

She said that through the global Spotlight Initiative programme, the EU and UN had been working with civil society organisations across the continent and the partnership had shown that violence against women and girls was preventable.

“Evidence shows as well that women organisations are the most effective actors to ensure progress and sustainable change in women’s rights and gender equalty.

“Women organisations play central roles in advancing the implementation of global normative frameworks, contribute to societal development while reaching the poorest and most vulnerable and marginalised women and girls.

“Strategic and joint actions are considered poweful mechanisms for transformative change.

“Supporting and investing in strong and autonomous feminist organisations and movements are, therefore, key strategies to achieving transformational change in policy at global, regional and national levels.

The News Agency of Nigeria reports that 45 participants from 12 countries of Central, Eastern and West Africa, comprising 37 rights organisations attended the regional consultation.



Edited by Hadiza Mohammed-Aliyu

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