Women groups and human rights activists have urged decision-makers, governments and public authorities to invest more in the empowerment of women and girls.
The call came at the end of the UNWomen /European Union 2-day Regional consultation with some sixty women and girls leaders, and representatives of feminist organizations from seventeen (17) African countries, held in Abuja, Nigeria’s capital.
The meeting which is part of activities to kickstart the 16 days of activism campaign against gender-based violence, was to discuss joint priority advocacy actions to accelerate the implementation of the Feminist Agenda, the realization of more egalitarian societies, favourable to the full development of women and girls, without exclusion in the two regions of West and Central Africa.
UnWomen Regional Program Manager, Mrs. Arlette Mvondo, in charge of programs to prevent and end violence against women (EVAW), took the opportunity of the meeting to call on the women for more solidarity, network more, to get to know each other better in order to build strong coalitions.
As for the participants, Mrs. Diago Diagne, President of the Senegalese branch of ECOWAS Network for Women- Peace and Security (REPSFECO), praised “the opportunity for inter-generational dialogue which took place over the two days, with the effective presence of at least three different generations”.
Participants took time to focus on self-evaluation, and self-criticism, learned from past experiences in order to build on the future.
They also urged authorities to promote the rehabilitation and reintegration of GBV victims/survivors as well as establish favourable policies and substantial funding which enable the implementation of feminist programs and initiatives.
This year the UNITE to End Violence against Women initiative is a multiyear effort to prevent and eliminate violence against women and girls around the world.
The initiative, launched in 2008 under the leadership of the UN Secretary-General, was created to support the civil society-led 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence campaign around the world.
Managed by UN Women, UNITE calls on governments, civil society, women’s organizations, young people, the private sector, media, and the UN system to join forces to address the global pandemic of violence against women and girls.
The global theme of this year’s 16 Days of Activism against Gender-based Violence, which runs from 25 November to 10 December 2023, is “UNITE! Invest to prevent violence against women and girls”.