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A world of possibilities A world of possibilities
By Dr. Harriet Sakala, FAWEZA Alumni

From the Executive

FAWE calls on African heads of state to ensure girls’ and women’s greater participation in education and development

Tuesday, 22 January 2013

logoGimacFAWE is to urge African leaders to acknowledge the centrality of education, especially for women, in confronting the development challenges facing the African continent.

FAWE will lead a session at the 21st Pre-Summit Consultative Meeting on Gender Mainstreaming in the African Union (AU) organised in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, from 22 to 23 January 2013 calling for greater and better participation of girls and women in education in order to bring about an ‘African Renaissance’.

Equipping girls and women with relevant knowledge and skills brings social and economic gains, not only for the individual, but also for her family and the wider community.

However, the quality of education in many sub-Saharan countries today is such that many children, particularly girls, complete primary and even secondary school without acquiring basic competencies in literacy and numeracy. This severely undermines their ability and opportunity to participate in, and derive full benefits from, national prosperity.

Organised by the Gender is my Agenda Campaign (GIMAC) network, the meeting will precede the 20th Ordinary Session of the AU Heads of State and Government Summit on “Pan-Africanism and the African Renaissance", which will take place in Addis Ababa from 26 to 27 January 2013.

The GIMAC meeting will mobilise advocacy on issues and challenges related to gender mainstreaming in the AU, specifically urging African leaders to address challenges relating to women’s empowerment.

As a member of the GIMAC network and thematic focal point for education, FAWE will argue that, given the centrality of quality education for girls and women to major development objectives, Pan-Africanism and the African Renaissance can only be realised if quality education for girls and women across the continent is given the necessary urgency on the AU agenda.

FAWE’s partner organisations in the GIMAC network will take advantage of the session on education to stress how economic returns to girls’ education in Africa can improve by raising education quality. They will make recommendations to the AU Heads of State and Government on the education reforms and programmes that have the potential to deliver the greatest gains by enhancing girls’ and women's participation in African society and development at all levels.

Special guests at the GIMAC meeting will include Hon. Mary Robinson, Former President of Ireland and President of the Mary Robinson Foundation-Climate Justice (MRFCJ); Dr. Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission; and Ms. Zainab Bangura, the UN Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Sexual Violence in Conflict.

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