Press Release 29TH AU SUMMIT
AU High Level Panel on Gender Equality & Women’s Empowerment calls for scaling up of up decisions and policies on the demographic dividend agenda
Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 29 June 2017: The importance of the demographic dividend to Africa’s transformative development has been repeatedly acknowledged by African leaders at the highest level and in key ministerial platforms. The 2017 AU Theme of: “Harnessing the Demographic Dividend through Investments in Youth” is a reflection of the commitment of African leaders to elevate and bring to the forefront matters relating to Africa’s youth.
The 4th AU High Level Panel on Gender Equality & Women’s Empowerment (GEWE) is aligned to the AU theme and goes further by placing a special emphasis on “empowering young women and girls”. The High Level Panel, which commenced today, is organised around the four pillars of the Demographic Dividends Roadmap namely: Employment and Entrepreneurship; Education and Skills Development; Health and Wellbeing; Rights, Governance and Youth Empowerment.
The opening statement of H.E. Mr. Faki Moussa Mahamat, Chairperson, African Union Commission (AUC), was delivered by H.E. Mr. Thomas Kwesi Quartey, the Deputy Chairperson of the AUC In his statement H.E. The Chairperson stated “I am deeply honoured to deliver my first keynote address to the High Level Panel on Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment since I assumed office as the Chairperson of the African Union Commission. And I stand on the shoulders of my predecessor, Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma, who laid a solid foundation for me by making gender equality and women’s empowerment central to the AU development agenda”.
H.E. Mr. Quartey while addressing the delegates further underlined that “Gender equality and empowerment cannot be achieved without the equal, full and effective participation of women and young people at all levels”
Addressing the opening ceremony, Mrs. Mahawa Kaba Wheeler, Director for Women, Gender and Development, AUC, stated that education is the starting point that “puts us and keeps us in the race for tomorrow. She concluded that the work of the AUC as relates to gender issues aims to change the lives of ordinary African women for the improvement and enhancement of their lives.
Discussions during the the 4th HLP on GEWE will focus on the following areas:
1. Understanding the AU Demographic Dividends Agenda;
2. Key Policy Options on Pillar 1 of the Demographic Dividends Roadmap: Employment and Entrepreneurship;
3. Key Policy Options on Pillar 2 of the Demographic Dividends Roadmap: Education and Digital Skills Development;
4. Briefing Session on Girls and Women’s Education;
5. Key Policy Options on Pillar 3 of the Demographic Dividends Roadmap: Health and Wellbeing; and
6. Key Policy Options on Pillar 4 of the Demographic Dividends Roadmap: Rights, Governance and Youth Empowerment
The Outcomes of the 4th HLP on GEWE will be provided in a report with strategies and recommendations for action and decisions on possible policy gaps.
The AU 4th HLP on GEWE is organized on the margins of the 29th AU Summit by the AUC’s Women, Gender and Development Directorate in collaboration with the Department for Human Resources, Science and Technology, the Department of Social Affairs, Department of Peace and Security, and the Office of the Special Envoy on Women in partnership with United Nations Agencies and Civil Society and Private Partners as well as Media.