AU Member States, Regional Economic Communities and Civil Society Organisations Trained on the AU Gender Observatory


15th December 2021Representatives from AU Member States, Regional Economic Communities (RECs) and Civil Society leaders of Africa gathered virtually from 14 – 15 December 2021 for training on the effective use of the African Union Gender Observatory (AUGO) Platform. The new AU Gender Observatory is an online reporting and knowledge management platform to monitor and report on Member States’ efforts towards implementation of gender equality commitments including on Violence Against women and Girls (VAWG), Harmful Practices (HP) and Sexual and Reproductive Health and Reproductive Rights (SRH and RR). The training was jointly implemented by the AUC’s Women, Gender and Youth Directorate, UN Women and UNECA under the Spotlight Initiative Africa Regional Programme (SIARP) supported by the European Union.

On behalf of the African Union Chairperson, Prudence Nonkululeko Ngwenya, Ag. Director, Women, Gender Youth Directorate in her opening remarks stressed that ‘the primary objective of the Observatory is to stand as the most comprehensive and up-to-date source of information about Member States’ efforts towards Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment.’ In his remarks, Thomas Huyghebaert, the Head of Policy and Cooperation at the EU Delegation to the African Union highlighted that ‘the platform will reinforce the capacity of the institutions responsible for monitoring and reporting on the implementation of Human Rights instruments and keep countries accountable on their global commitments.

UN Women in collaboration with the AUC and UNECA have for the past few months, worked closely to review the thematic areas of the Observatory to include indicators on VAWG, HP and SRH and RR, to develop the system and revamp and operationalize the observatory, which was initially designed by AUC in 2018. As a result, the observatory is now better tailored to include systematic data on VAWG and SGBV/HP and SRHR as mandated by African Union Instruments such as the Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality in Africa (SDGEA) and Agenda 2063.

Any tool or system is as good as its utilization. For the AU Gender Observatory to achieve its objective of ensuring periodic, inclusive, and quality reporting on VAWG/SGBV/HP and SRH&RR in Africa, Members States’ commitment in reporting is highly critical”, said Letty Chiwara, UN Women Representative to Ethiopia, the African Union Commission and the UN Economic Commission for Africa. She underscored the importance of adequately capturing the lived realities of women and girls to help partners to conduct evidence-based decision making, programming and action on the ground.

Keiso Matashane-Marite, Officer In charge of the Gender and Women Empowerment Section in the Gender, Poverty and Social Policy Division of UNECA stressed that ‘the training will go a long way towards re-committing our Member States to ending violence against women and girls and eradicating GBV and intimate partner violence; ending harmful practices, as well as shining a spotlight towards recommitment to promoting women’s rights especially promoting and protecting sexual and reproductive health and reproductive rights.’

While the AU and its member states have made progress on the ratification and domestication of global and regional normative frameworks towards the elimination of violence against women and girls, the link between political commitments and operational implementation needs to be significantly strengthened to ensure effective prevention and response across the continent. The two-day meeting was part of a body or work to strengthen the monitoring and accountability mechanism at AUC, and falls under the framework of the EU-UN Spotlight Initiative Africa Regional Programme (SIARP).

Media Contacts:

Doreen Apollos Information and Communication Directorate | African Union Commission
Tel: +251 115 517 700 | E-mail: [ Click to reveal ] Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Afrah Thabit | Information and Communication Directorate | African Union Commission

Tel: +251 115 517 700 | E-mail: [ Click to reveal ] | Addis Ababa, Ethiopia

Azmera Kassahun | EVAW Spotlight Initiative | UN Women Ethiopia

Tel: +251-118-695004, +251-115-170887| E-mail: [ Click to reveal ] | Addis Ababa, Ethiopia