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Commitment of the Council of Traditional Leaders of Africa (COTLA) towards the elimination of violence against women and girls.
It is a reality that our region carries the highest prevalence of child marriage and female genital mutilation in the world, impacting millions of our girls. These harmful traditional practices have devastating impact including loss of life, risk of disease such as fistula, loss of education and life opportunities, trauma and other psycho-social impacts resulting in deepening poverty and perpetuating a cycle of abuse. This calls on us as traditional and religious leaders to urgently assume our role as protectors of our children. The COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated the prevalence of genderbased violence in our countries and communities.
The working paper and accompanying policy brief provide an analysis of the progress and gaps across the continent in promoting young women’s role in decision-making and political processes across Africa. The paper further proposes recommendations for consideration by AU and AU Member States including for gender-responsive COVID 19 response and recovery plans that guarantee the participation and integration of the voices of young women.
The policy paper assesses the state of Gender Based Violence (GBV) in Africa in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. Informed by evidence from the five African Union (AU) regions, it outlines some of the initiatives implemented in AU Member States. The paper also proposes recommendations towards multi-sectoral response and recovery efforts that address GBV as well as the related needs of women and girls in Africa.