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Friday, November 13, 2009

Banjul to host gender conference

About 28 African Ministers in-charge of gender affairs and high level participants from 43 African countries would participate in the Eighth African Regional Conference on Women (Beijing+15) in Banjul, Gambia from November 16-20.

Other participants include a cross section of various key stakeholders, regional and international organisations and representatives of civil society.

A statement issued by the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA), on Thursday copied to Ghana News Agency in Accra, said the conference would take stock of progress achieved in Africa since the Beijing Summit on Women 15 years ago, and identify pending challenges for the implementation of the 12 critical areas of the Beijing Platform for Action.

The three-fold objective of the conference include: Reviewing the evaluation report ECA has prepared based on the inputs received from member states; identifying key actions that Africa needs to focus on in the next five years, in time for the second decade review of the BPFA; and defining Africa's input into the global review of the BPFA, due to take place at the Commission on the Status of Women in New York in March 2010.

The statement said it would be a landmark regional conference on women being convened in the wake of the recent Regional Conference of the ICPD+15 held in Addis Ababa in October 2009.

The ICPD+15 assessed progress achieved in the implementation of the Programme of Action of the Cairo International Conference on Population and Development (ICPD 1995); and reiterated the imperative need to accelerate action towards achieving gender equality and effectively empowering women and promoting their human rights in Africa.

The Banjul Conference would begin with the statutory meeting of ECA's Committee on Women and Development, which would be followed by the Ministerial meeting.

A major highlight of the African Regional Conference on Women would be the launch by ECA of its African Women's Report 2009 (AWR), which is its flagship publication on gender issues in Africa.

The AWR 2009 is unique as it focuses on the use of an Africa specific tool that was recently developed by ECA, the African Gender and Development Index (AGDI)) which aims to enhance the ability of African countries to monitor and report on their performance in the implementation of global and regional commitments and instruments on the advancement of women.

Source: GNA

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