Senegal: UN urges ECOWAS to adopt strategies on gender equality

Dakar, Senegal (PANA) – A senior official of the United Nations has called on member countries of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) and their international partners to adopt efficient preventive measures against the challenges linked to gender inequality in the sub-region.

The call was made on Friday in Dakar by Dr. Josephine Odera, the Representative and Regional Director of the Sub-Regional office United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UNWOMEN).

"We admit that the situation of gender equality in ECOWAS member countries is encouraging," she said.

"However, huge challenges in terms of conflict resolution, responses to natural disasters, health crisis (such as Ebola, HIV), terrorism and religious fanaticism, the access to modern technology for women, agriculture, the consequences of climate change are issues that call all of us into question, particularly if we want to break with the generational cycles of poverty," she said at a two-day meeting of ECOWAS gender ministers which opened on Friday.

"In order to change the institutional, judicial, political framework for sustainable development, it is urgent for ECOWAS countries and their partners of the international community to adopt efficient and quick prevention and response strategies against those challenges," she said.

Dr Odera reaffirmed the commitment of the United Nations for gender equality in all sectors of human development.

She also congratulated the ECOWAS ministers of Women and Gender and the ECOWAS Commission for the significant progress made in the areas of promotion of gender equality in West Africa.

The mandate of UNWOMEN is to back the implementation of international commitments for gender equality and women’s rights.

According to Dr Odera, the post-2015 development programme offered true opportunity for sustainable change likely to affect the lives of women and men in ECOWAS and in other UN member countries.
-0- PANA KAN/IS/MSA/MA 16Jan 2015

16 january 2015 20:23:12

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