Women’s Rights First—African Summit


Africa faces numerous challenges to the well-being of the more than 1.2 billion people who live there. The African Union has named 2016 the "African Year of Human Rights, with particular focus on the Rights of Women." Countless issues face Africa that need support, careful discussion, and action. But during the 2016 AU Summit held in Addis Ababa, Ethopia from January 21 to 31, women's issues were front and center.

Mahawa Kaba Wheeler; Director of Women, Gender and Development at the African Union Commission; gave an interview to IPS News detailing compelling reasons for emphasizing women's rights in the overall fight to promote human rights in Africa. She discusses economic disenfranchisement, lack of education, gender-based violence and more. Working to protect women and achieve gender equality, she argues, will help society as a whole thrive.

Women's disproportionate share of the adversity and barriers—combined with their immeasurable contributions to their communities—means that focusing on women is focusing on the community.

Read Kaba Wheeler's full interview at the link below. You can listen to a review of the summit here.

ipsnews.net - CAIRO, Feb 1 2016 (IPS) - Despite the enormous challenges facing Africa now, the leaders of its 1.2 billion plus inhabitants have decided to spotlight the issue of Human Rights With a Particular Focus on the Rights of Women in their 26th summit held in Addis Ababa on 21-31 January this year. Why?

In an interview to IPS, Mahawa Kaba Wheeler, Director of Women, Gender and Development at the African Union Commission (AUC), explains that time has come to act to alleviate the multitude of barriers to gender equality: “These include, among others, economic exclusion and financial systems that perpetuate the discrimination of women; limited participation in political and public life; lack of access to education and retention of girls in schools; gender-based violence, harmful cultural practices, and exclusion of women from peace tables either as lead mediators or part of negotiating teams of conflicting parties,” she argued.

Read the full interview here.