By Spy Uganda
As Buganda warms up for 28th Kabaka Ronald Muwenda Mutebi’s coronation, Africans across the globe are also in jubilations for the 59th Pan African Women’s Day (PAWD), scheduled for 31 July, 2021 organized by Pan-African Women’s Organization (PAWO), the Specialized Agency of the AU dedicated to gender equality and women’s empowerment.
PAWD is observed each year to commemorate the first Pan African Women’s Conference held in Dar es Salaam in 1962. The event is celebrated across capitals of AU Member States, with national programmes and different activities.
PAWD was established to recognize and affirm the role of women’s organizing for the political freedom of Africa and advancing the social and economic status of women on the continent. It 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.
In his statement in the previous commemoration, former AU Commission Chairperson Moussa Faki Mahamat noted amongst other things the importance 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.
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.
This year’s celebrations take place against the backdrop of the recently launched African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA). If implemented as envisaged, the African free market will benefit businesswomen and ease their burden to transact freely across borders.
According to Mahamat, African women continue to be the backbone of economies as farmers, entrepreneurs, traders, scientists and leaders in many other sectors. However, key Agenda 2063 projects such the open skies, blue economy and infrastructure development cannot be realized without the full involvement of women and youth.
”As the Chairperson of the Commission, one of my priorities remains the full implementation of the policy organs’ call to have gender parity in the workforce of the AU by 2025. It is within this context that I recently appointed the first ever AU Youth Envoy who is a woman. I also continue to advocate for Member States to adopt and implement policies as well as create conducive environment for women to participate effectively, equally and fully in all sectors of society,” said Mahamat.
He added, ”As Africans, it is our collective responsibility to hold ourselves and our leaders accountable to deliver on our gender equality and women’s empowerment commitments.”