Call for continental efforts against gender inequality

A four-member Pan-African Parliament (PAP) committee on Gender, Family, Youth and People with Disability ended a week-long visit, pledging to use Rwanda's experience to build a continental blueprint for gender equity.
Francisca Domingos Tomas (L) with Senator Apollinaire Mishinzimana in parliament last week. (Doreen Umutesi)
Francisca Domingos Tomas (L) with Senator Apollinaire Mishinzimana in parliament last week. (Doreen Umutesi)

A four-member Pan-African Parliament (PAP) committee on Gender, Family, Youth and People with Disability ended a week-long visit, pledging to use Rwanda’s experience to build a continental blueprint for gender equity.

In their recommendations handed to the speaker of Chamber of Deputies, Donatile Mukabalisa, the committee said PAP would organise an international conference in Kigali to enable other African national parliaments learn from Rwanda’s experience.

“This committee, in partnership with the Parliament of Rwanda, will organise a continental conference with the theme: ‘Domestication to implementation: Rwanda’s Case Study,” to allow other national parliaments learn from the Rwandan experience and guarantee women’s rights into national legislations,” the PAP committee said.

The PAP legislators were in the country to gather information on gender equality and women empowerment in Rwanda with regard to the Maputo Protocol. The protocol calls for elimination of all forms of violence and discrimination against women and girls.

“African states have to encourage communities to promote gender [equality] by including promotional policies, while involving gender equality in their education program,” the MPs added in their recommendations presented by Caroline Akoun.

She said that African states should work towards removal of all discriminatory laws against women.

Committee President Francisca Domingos Tomas from Mozambique said their visit would set a foundation for a continental conference to advocate for domestication and implementation the Maputo protocol.

Speaker Mukabalisa said that exchange of knowledge and experience among African states will fast track the continent’s economic development.

“Learning from Africans by Africans is a sign that Africa is developing. We hope to transform such resolutions into concrete actions for the empowerment of women, and general development,” she said.

In their earlier discussions, PAP legislators blamed the continent’s state of underdevelopment partly on gender inequality.

“If an African woman is poor, Africa will remain poor. If a woman is not empowered Africa will not attain its socio-economic confidence,” Domingo said.

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