Gender Equality and Women Empowerment by AU, UNECA and UN Women
The year 2020 marked the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Beijing Platform for Action and was expected to be a ground-breaking year for Gender Equality and Empowerment of Women (GEWE). However, amidst the immeasurable health, economic and social crisis the world is facing due to coronavirus, even the limited gains made in the past decades are at risk of being reversed.
COVID-19 disproportionately impacts the socio-economic welfare of African women and girls. The pandemic is deepening pre-existing inequalities and structural injustices causing a profound threat at social, economic as well as humanitarian level. Reports show a vast increase of abuse such as intimate partner violence, sexual harassment, child marriage, female genital mutilation (FGM), domestic and sexual abuse of women and girls in many cases by family members.
As a result of the pandemic and its overwhelming impact on women and girls and its threat against the strides that have been made towards GEWE, the African Union Commission-Women, Gender and Development Directorate (AUC-WGDD) and the United Nations Entity for Gender Equality and the Empowerment of Women (UN Women) have placed their best foot forward and continued to put in place instruments, guidelines and strategies to ensure all COVID-19 responses adopt a gender lens every step of the way. This second edition of the GEWE quarterly newsletter features good practices, knowledge and efforts by the AUC and UN Women towards addressing COVID-19 and its impact as well as key activities carried out by the institutions on other relevant GEWE agendas in the third and fourth quarters of 2020