The Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) are collaborating to advance gender mainstreaming for women in the region.
To this end, both parties are examining their existing Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with a view of making it more inclusive and adaptable to current realities as global, continental and regional organizations seek to create a more gender-balanced and peaceful world.
Conferring with the United Nations Assistant Secretary-General and Executive Secretary of UN Women H.E. Asa Regner on 23rd October 2019 in Abuja, Nigeria, the ECOWAS Commission’s Vice President H.E Finda Koroma stated the importance of collaboration across the board in order to give the desired voice to women.
Vice President Koroma highlighted critical areas where some level of action is being taken in support of women’s empowerment which include inter alia, education and skills acquisition, provision of job opportunities, digital financing and girl child education.
Apart from expressing optimism on the restating of commitment to the 1995 Beijing declaration and platform for action, Madam Koroma said the Commission was looking forward to the UN Women’s agenda on the UN Resolution 1325, so that ECOWAS can complement and strengthen it with desirable joint activities, being that three of the 5 G-Sahel countries are in West Africa.
Giving more insights into the direction of the technical session with Madam Regner’s delegation, the ECOWAS Commission’s Commissioner for Social Affairs and Gender Madam Siga Jagne upheld the importance of a buy-in by all stakeholders of gender balance promoting programs.
She stressed the need for the development of a regional gender establishment that will serve as a reference center while activating a gender scorecard that seeks to bring up all the countries in the region to the same level.
In her remarks, Madam Regner disclosed that her organization’s two-track approach is positioned to energize the gender equality concept in the identified ramifications despite the slow nature of things regarding measurable impact.
She maintained that meeting with regional bodies is very critical as the UN Women looks forward to celebrating 25 years of the Beijing Declaration. She sought greater collaboration with ECOWAS on the subject matter.
Together with the Convention on the Elimination of all Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), the UN Resolution 1325 on Women Peace and Security deals with the promotion and protection of women during armed conflict and their participation in peace and security decision-making, among others.