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A push for Local Authorities Charter for Gender Equality in Africa





Posted: 30 July 2020

The President of SALGA Cllr Thembi Nkadimeng and National Chairperson of the Women’s Commission Cllr Flora Maboa-Boltman on Tuesday 28 July 2020 participated in the virtual 2nd meeting of the Africa-Europe support Committee for the Charter and UCLG Africa Working Group to fast track the drafting of the “Local Authorities Charter for Gender Equality in Africa”

The project to create a “Local Authorities Charter for Gender Equality in Africa” is part of the implementation of the “Africa-Europe Marrakesh Pact for Local Equality” which aims to strengthen cooperation between UCLG, UCLG Africa/REFELA and EMR/PLATFORMA to advance equality of women and men in local life in Africa. The Pact was adopted during the 8th Africities Summit that took place in Marrakesh, November 2018.

The meeting brought together the members of the Africa-Europe Support Committee and the UCLG Africa Working Group.

Cllr Thembi Nkadimeng said the Charter was incredibly pertinent to women because it will allow the reinforcement of actions towards gender equality and make women to stand by their word and commitment to ensure that the needs and aspirations of African women are met.

Reflecting on the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, Cllr Nkadimeng said: “We are already seeing the effects that this pandemic is having: women are more likely to lose their jobs in female-dominated spheres such as hospitality and tourism sectors; it is likely that women will stay in places of care post COVID-19; and it is critical, thus, to ensure that we safeguard the progress we've made towards gender equality, including hard won gains for sexual and reproductive health and rights.”

“The status of women, the specific needs and unique contributions they make to shape the future of humanity cannot remain invisible. It remains essential, in the post-COVID era, to include women and their voices in both the formulation and monitoring of public policies, and especially those that belong to populations that have been historically discriminated against,” Cllr Nkadimeng said.

Recent reports indicate that the livelihoods of women around the world are now worsening. Gender violence is increasing, often exacerbated by the precarious housing conditions.

“Women are the bulk of the healthcare and basic stores workers that are at the frontline of facing the challenges, and represent almost 60% of the workforce on a part-time basis while being under 40% of the total employment. They are also playing a critical role in the cohesion of our neighbourhoods and solidarity efforts, keeping us together and safe,” Cllr Nkadimeng said.

Local Authorities Charter for Gender Equality in Africa is now more necessary than ever to lead a pathway towards a Generation Equality where women leadership is no longer an exception but the new normal.
The first meeting of the Europe-Africa committee to draft the “Local authorities Charter for gender equality in Africa” was held at the Paris City Hall (France) on Thursday 4 July 2019.

This 1st meeting was part of the implementation of the “Europe-Africa Pact for Local Equality” adopted in November 2018 by women mayors and local elected representatives, during the 8th edition of the Africities Summit, and signed by the Network of Women Elected and Leaders of Local Authorities in Africa (REFELA) of UCLG Africa, the Council of European Municipalities and Regions (CEMR)-Platforma and the World Organization of Local and Regional Governments (UCLG).

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