UN Women regional reference groups convene for inaugural meeting

Date: Monday, October 29, 2018

Reference Group Members with UN Women staff at the two day inaugural workshop. Photo: UN Women/ Faith Bwibo

Reference Group Members with UN Women staff at the two-day inaugural workshop. Photo: UN Women/ Faith Bwibo

UN Women East and Southern Africa Regional Office (ESARO) set up Thematic Regional Reference Groups comprised of a diverse team of high-level Technical Experts in Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment with relevant thematic experience in line with UN Women’s strategic priorities. To fulfill its mandate, UN Women will utilize Thematic Regional Reference Groups as one of the avenues in sourcing key ideas on policy perspectives, quality assurance and timely advisory support. 

These will act as think tanks that will enable UN Women to achieve the goal of ensuring women and girls benefit and attain the aspirations of the development frameworks in Africa including agenda 2030 on Sustainable Development- SDGs and the African Union’s Agenda 2063 among others.

During her opening remarks, Jebbeh Forster, Governance, Peace & Security and Humanitarian Advisor at UN Women commented that UN Women was privileged to work with such diverse and brilliant minds in carrying out its mandate and encouraged the members to reach out to her and other UN Women colleagues.

Bil-lene Seyoum Woldeyes, MD Gender Equality, Research and Training, Addid Ababa. Photo: UN Women/ Faith Bwibo

Bil-lene Seyoum Woldeyes, MD Gender Equality, Research and Training, Addis Ababa. Photo: UN Women/ Faith Bwibo

Members of the group will be expected to serve for two years and an extension of one additional year as deemed necessary and their specific roles include: Review and provide inputs to UN Women during the formulation of key strategic documents e.g. the regional strategic note and plans, support partnership development, resource mobilization, knowledge and data generation for the region; Provide updates on political, social, economic and cultural developments and trends relevant to Ending Violence Against Women and Girls for consideration in UN Women’s programmatic activities in the region;  Provide perspectives on regional scenarios, emerging issues on the continent and positions on key issues including for intergovernmental processes and engagements relevant to UN Women’s programming in the region; Provide strategic perspectives on advocacy to promote Gender Equality and Women Peace and Security in the region; and upon request, review and input into UN Women ESARO’s key strategic areas that will effectively address existing gender inequalities and support the development of innovative interventions for engagement and support at regional and national levels.

Bil-lene Seyoum, a participant from Ethiopia remarked that ‘it is also crucial to strategically engage men and boys in these processes, moving forward’ . The inaugural meeting was held on 15th – 16th October 2018 for the of the Ending Violence Against Women and Girls and Women Peace and Security Reference Group in Nairobi, Kenya.