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Uganda pushes for adoption of Africa position at 68th season of the commission on the status of women (CSW68) as negotiations enter crucial stages

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New York-Uganda chairs the Africa Union Specialised Technical Committee on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (STC GEWE) and in effect is at the whelm of pushing for the Africa position at negotiations.

The Minister of Gender Labour and Social Development Betty Amongi Ongom told a meeting of members of the Africa Group which included AU Ministers in charge of Gender &Women Affairs that following their General Statements, effective representation and participation this week during negotiations should shape the General Conclusions and Observations.

The consultative meeting at the Permanent Observer mission of AU to UN in New York was also attended by Ambassador Fatima Mohammed, Permanent Observer Mission of the AU to the UN, Honorable Sallah Njle Janet Ramatoulle, Special Rapporteur on Women in Africa, Representatives of UN Agencies, Representatives of AU Partners as well as Technical Teams of the AU Women, Gender and Youth Directorates.

Amongi implored Technical Teams to pay close attention to the ongoing negotiations and ensure that the African Union Priorities are accorded due attention in the General Conclusions and Observations of the CSW68 including the final outcome document.

Negotiations revolve around the Priority Theme on “Accelerating the Achievement of Gender Equality and the Empowerment of all Women and Girls by Addressing Poverty and Strengthening Institutions and Financing with a Gender Perspective.”

Amongi said the theme resonates well with the critical challenge most of the Members States are facing with shrinking fiscal space for the delivery of gender equality and women’s empowerment.

As chair of the African Union Specialised Technical Committee on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (STC GEWE) Uganda is charged with presenting the African Union Position on the Priority Theme which was done by Amongi.

The African Women’s position calls for among others innovative and sustainable solutions towards the empowerment of African women and recognizes digitization at the core of the financial inclusion agenda.

It also calls for the establishing of a network of regional and national champions to increase the reach and inclusion of women and youth; Leveraging the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) agreement to strengthen intra-regional trade; Investing in access to digital financial services for women and youth, especially MSMEs to drive financial inclusion; Collecting disaggregated data by gender and youth to inform policy development and program execution.

It further calls for leveraging the education sector by including financial literacy in the school curriculum; creating more opportunities for women and youth in governance and leadership positions to ensure representation and inclusivity in decision-making; creating financial products and services that specifically meet the needs of women and youth, particularly in rural areas and the borderlands.

And finally calls for strengthening accountability mechanisms and the need for the ratification of the Maputo protocol; and cascading mechanisms to ensure grassroots movements, CSO and Women’s rights organizations remain at the center of interventions in order to translate macro-level strategies into micro level impact.

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