ECOWAS to promote gender equality
ECOWAS ministers met on 9 February 2017 in Abidjan to discuss how to make faster progress on gender equality and equity within the context of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the African Union’s Agenda 2063. Côte d’Ivoire’s Vice-President Daniel Duncan participated in the opening session and encouraged ministers to take ownership of the newly approved roadmap, which aims to accelerate the implementation of Supplementary Act on Equal Rights for Men and Women for Sustainable Development in the Community. An experts meeting, held ahead of the event, also presented a regional action plan on the fight against obstetric fistula; the ECOWAS Gender and Elections Strategic Framework (GESF) and its action plan; and the 2017-2020 action plan for the women, peace and security component of the ECOWAS Conflict Prevention Framework. The region has a large number of legal frameworks, policies, strategies and action plans, but implementation remains the key challenge in all West African countrieswhere large gender gaps persist. The ECOWAS ministers in charge of gender affairs appealed to regional leaders to step up their efforts to create and maintain an environment to enable member states to meet gender equity and equality goals. The ECOWAS Commission committed to annually review the progress, obstacles and challenges to gender equality that member countries face.
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