Addis Ababa [Africa], July 31 (ANI): Africa is observing Women’s Day on Sunday, a day earmarked to recognise and affirm the role of women’s organising in achieving the political freedom of Africa and advancing the social and economic status of women on the continent.
31 July is Pan African Women’s Day and 2019 marked the 57th anniversary of the Pan-African Women’s Organization (PAWO), the Specialised Agency of the AU dedicated to gender equality and women’s empowerment.
In his statement to commemorate the day, the AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat noted amongst other things the import of the day pointing out that Pan African Women’s Day is a day to celebrate and acknowledge the Foremothers of Africa who gallantly fought for the liberation and development of this continent. He also reiterated the important role of African women who continue to be the backbone of our economies as farmers, entrepreneurs, traders, scientists and leaders in many other sectors.
The Chairperson noted that one of his priorities remains the full implementation of the policy organs’ call to have gender parity in the workforce of the AU by 2025 and committee that he will continue to demand dignity and protection for all women and girls who have been forcibly displaced in Africa; remarking that it is the collective responsibility of Africans to hold themselves and their leaders accountable to deliver on the gender equality and women’s empowerment commitments.
Africa’s Women’s Day offers a national, continental and global opportunity to recall and affirm the significant role of African women in the evolution of a strong Pan-African identity, with shared values, objectives and vision for the future, as well as women being key contributors towards achieving Africa’s inclusive growth and sustainable development agenda anchored in the AU vision of an integrated prosperous and peaceful Africa
In 2019, the African Union Heads of State and Government designated July 7th of each year as “the African Integration Day” to celebrate major achievements attained in regional and continental integration process, and also, to deliberate on critical lessons learned, with a view of addressing challenges faced.
Africa’s Women’s Day 2021 was celebrated under the theme, “African Women in Arts, Culture and Heritage”.
The commemoration is also aligned to the declaration of years 2020 to 2030 as the Decade of Women’s Financial and Economic Inclusion. The overall goal of the Decade of Women’s Financial and Economic Inclusion is that every women must be able to work, be paid and participate in the economy of her country.
This involves examining the regulatory, legislative and policy context to determine the changes needed to foster the financial inclusion of women and to assist financial institutions in adopting approaches tailored to women, as separate market segment as well as their participation in key economic sectors of which is include the Creative and Cultural Industries
The Africa’s Women Day gives an opportunity to celebrate and recognize the role and contribution of women in creative economy and the Creative and Cultural Industries and to encourage women to join the sectors as well as to rally support on how to address the challenges and unexplored opportunities for women.
This is also done to amplify the voices and the visibility of women in the creative industry, including but not limited to — Combatting gender-based stereotypes and harmful social norms through arts, culture and heritage in order to increase retention and leveraging different components of culture to disseminate the message on protection and promotion of girls’ and women’s right.
It is also for promoting the use of culture and arts to demystify & de-stereotype the creative economy sector and nurture girls and women’s participation in the creative economy through gender sensitive humanities studies and encourage exhibitions and galleries or museum to accord women equal opportunities by exhibiting work by female artistes as well as acquiring more art produced by women.
Among other things are advocate for women to access and occupy leadership positions in the creative economy sector, advocate for conducive environment that supports the growth of professional women artistes including through academic and extend resources to women in the creative economy especially financial and technical resources. (ANI)