Tanzania: Dlamini Zuma tells AU leaders to up gender equality, women empowerment

Dar es Salaam, Tanzania (PANA) - In marking 2015 as the year of women's empowerment and development, Africa should take its continental programme of gender equality and women's empowerment to a higher level, African Union Commission (AUC) Chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma told the AU leaders gathered in Addis Ababa for their 24th Ordinary Summit.

Addressing the opening session of the Assembly at the AU headquarters in the Ethiopian capital, Dlamini Zuma urged the continent's leadership to ensure that women are at the table in conflict resolution and peace building, and increase their representation in public life.

She said every African nation should advance the cause of women through economic empowerment and financial inclusion, by modernising agriculture, and addressing women’s access to land, technology, markets, infrastructure, and capital.

The Summit is holding under the theme “Year of women empowerment and development towards Africa’s Agenda 2063“.

"We are meeting at the start of a year when the world faces a historic point: as it agrees on what to do about climate change, about the post-2015 development agenda, and as it reflects on 20 years since the Beijing Women’s Conference," Dlamini Zuma said.

"Thus, while the rest of the world has the luxury to choose to stay where they are or move East, West, South or North, Africa has neither the time nor the choice: we must move in one direction
- and that is forward and upwards!

"During the Year of Women, we must pay special attention to the girl child, making sure that they are all in and remain in school, that we end child marriages and female genital mutilation, teenage parenthood and harness the potential of both boys and girls," she emphasised.

The AU's chief executive reminded African leaders that Agenda 2063 commits to empower young people as innovators, citizens and entrepreneurs.

"Young innovators and entrepreneurs are an embodiment of what we can achieve if we invest and give Africa’s young men and women the opportunity to help shape the destiny of our continent," she said.
-0- PANA AR/SEG 30Jan2015

30 january 2015 15:14:28




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