ECA, AU Hold Joint Gender Meeting in Senegal

Addis Ababa, 11 October (ECA) - Over 30 African Ministers of Gender and Women's Affairs gather Wednesday in Dakar, Senegal, for a meeting of one of Africa's key groupings on women's affairs.

The joint meeting of the Economic Commission for Africa's Committee on Women and Development (CWD) and the African Union (AU) will be opened by Senegalese President Aboulaye Wade.

Speakers will include Senegal's Minister for Families, Mme Aïda Mbodj, ECA's Deputy Executive Secretary Josephine Ouedraogo, and AU Chairperson Alpha Oumar Konare.

The CWD, a group of experts that advises the ECA on gender-related issues, was first established in 1977 in Nouakchott, Mauritania, to promote the exchange of experiences and strengthen solidarity among African women.

Its core objective is advocacy for gender-sensitive policies and institutional changes at all levels.

In January 2005, at the Beijing+10 conference (a decade after the Beijing Platform for Action was adopted on gender issues), Africa agreed on a common position to achieve gender equality and the empowerment of women, based on a document known as the Outcome and Way Forward.

ECA and the AU have adopted a joint strategy to follow up on the implementation, monitoring and evaluation of this document and the Solemn Declaration on Gender and Development in Africa.

The Dakar meeting will concentrate on defining a common national approach to this strategy, renewing membership of the CWD, and reviewing the work programme of ECA's gender division, the African Centre for Gender and Development, for 2006/7.

Issued by the ECA Communication Team

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