South Africa to participate in the International Women’s day conference in Monrovia, Liberia, 07- 08 March 2009
Pretoria: Minerals and Energy Minister, Ms Buyelwa Sonjica will lead a South African delegation to the International Colloquium on Women’s Empowerment, Leadership Development, International Peace and Security 2009, scheduled for 07-08 March, 2009, Monrovia, Liberia.
The Colloquium, conceptualized in 2006 during the inauguration of Africa’s first female President, Madam Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, will bring together 400 international participants and 400 Liberian national participants, including female leaders; Heads of State and Government; ministers; Chief Executive Officers (CEOs), Presidents and Executive Directors; and NGO and community leaders. The Conference, co-convened by President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf of Liberia and President Tarja Halonen of Finland, seeks to create an environment for women and their champions around the world to discuss, learn, demonstrate and act on the benefits and lessons learned from women in leadership.
The Colloquium has been organised to co-incide with the International Women’s Day and its goals and theme leads for development include:
- Empower women to be more effective leaders by linking them with their peers from around the world and sharing best practices;
- Support the implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1325 on women, peace and security to ensure that women are protected from the worst abuses in times of conflict and to empower them to play their rightful and vital role in helping their countries prevent, end and recover from conflict;
- Contribute to the achievement of Millennium Development Goal 3 (three) on Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women, including building capacity and resources of government and non-governmental institutions to work for women's rights and economic empowerment;
- Demonstrate the clear gender dimensions of climate change, environment protection and sustainable development; and
- Launch the Angie Brooks International Centre on Women's Empowerment, Leadership Development, International Peace and Security, in Monrovia to support the implementation of action emerging from the Colloquium through, inter alia, training and research.
The Colloquium is co-chaired by the Minister of Foreign Affairs of Liberia, Honourable Olubanke King-Akerele, and the Minister of Gender and Development of Liberia, Honorable Vabah Gayflor.
On its part South Africa has, through the Spousal Office and the Office on the Status of Women, both in the Presidency, and the Department of Defence, spearheaded programmes that seek to assist women from conflict-ridden countries in Africa to contribute to the culture of peace on the continent and beyond. This goal is achieved through facilitating dialogue among these women with the South African Women in Dialogue (SAWID).
The South African Government has demonstrated its political will and commitment to change the lives of women in the country, among others through signing important international conventions on the rights of women, in particular the Convention on the Elimination of All forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW).
In addition South Africa has always been at the forefront of the campaign to ensure that women are equitably represented at all levels of decision-making, including national security and the promotion of regional and global peace.
Minister Sonjica and her delegation will return to South Africa on Monday, 09 March 2009.
Issued by Ms Nomfanelo Kota on 0824593787
Department of Foreign Affairs
Private Bag X 152
07 March 2009