The Women in Parliaments' Global Forum Summit 2015 Held in Addis Ababa This Week (

The Women in Parliaments’ Global Forum (WIP) Summit 2015 was held in Addis Ababa, Monday to Wednesday this week March 23-25) under the theme “New Leadership for Global Challenges”. Last year at their Summit in Kigali, the Women in Parliament’s Global Forum adopted the Kigali Declaration that called on world leaders and parliamentarians to improve education and healthcare levels, combat poverty and gender-based violence, as well as discriminatory practices and attitudes.
The Summit 2015 is drawing particular attention to the fact that a number of African countries holding elections in 2015, 2016 and 2017 still have less than 20% women representation in parliament. During the Summit, the AU Commission convened a meeting on Tuesday on Emerging Issues on the Participation of Women in Elections in Africa to push the agenda further on increasing women’s participation in decision making and politics, with Parliament as one key area where the numbers of women need to be increased. Dr. Dlamini Zuma, Chairperson of the African Union Commission in her opening remarks to the Summit noted that although women represented more than 50% of the global population, they had less that a quarter of its Members of Parliament.
She said there was now general agreement that a critical mass of at least 30% of women in Parliaments was necessary to begin the shift towards gender parity. She said in Africa, out of 55 African countries, there were fourteen countries with 30% or more female MPs: Rwanda (63.8), Namibia (47), Seychelles (43.8), Senegal (42.7), South Africa (41.5), Mozambique (39.6), Angola (36.8), Tanzania (36), Uganda (35), Algeria (31.6), Zimbabwe (31.5), Tunisia (31.3), Cameroon (31.1) and Burundi (30.5). She said the Summit looked forward to the 2015 elections in Burkina Faso, Benin, Burundi, Egypt, Ethiopia, Nigeria, Sudan and Togo, “to do the right thing”. Dr. Zuma also pointed out that this year is the Year of Women’s Empowerment and Development.
She also emphasized that Africa must ensure that issues critical to women were placed at the centre of the post-2015 development agenda and of sustainable development goal as part of the ongoing struggle for gender equality on our continent. Dr. Zuma also stressed that the challenges, of increasing women’s access to economic resources, participation in public life, and of ensuring human security, peace and a sustainable environment were matters that concern women everywhere: these. She said, were global issues.
Source: Politics