Gender equality and the empowerment of women and girls matter for nutrition because they have an important bearing on the three underlying determinants of nutrition which include food security, care practices and health. Women play a critical role as producers and enhancing productivity with an implication on food consumption and monitory return at national and household level.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organistion’s (FAO) report on the role of women in agriculture, women make up 43% of the agricultural labour force in the developing world, fifty-seven with the share rising to 50% in sub-Saharan Africa. It is estimated that if women worldwide had the same access to productive resources as men, they could increase the yields from their farms by 20% to 30% and total agricultural output by 2.5% to 4% lifting between 100 and 150 million people out of hunger.

It is against this background that the Gender Is My Agenda Campaign (GIMAC Network) convened its 4th Hybrid strategic engagement meeting with African Union, Regional Economic Communities and partners under the theme: Advancing Women’s Access to Economic Resources to Build Our Continent’s Resilience in Nutrition.

The three-day meeting commenced on 10th July with the 8th GIMAC Young Women Network Advocacy Training which was followed by the 4th GIMAC Network Meeting with the AU and RECs from 11th to 12th July in Lusaka, Zambia.

The network sought to provide a platform to highlight the immense contribution women and girls have made to ending hunger and malnutrition as well as their huge contribution in the advancement of the social economic development.

Together with Action for Community Organisation, Rehabilitation and Development (ACCORD) and Femmes Africa Solidarité , Women’s International Peace Centre convened a panel on how peacebuilding processes can promote women’s access to economic resources to strengthen their resilience in nutrition.

The panel highlighted the grave effects of conflict on women in different contexts in regard to accessing food and good nutrition. These effects included; reduction of food rations as a result of the COVID pandemic for refugee women, limited access to enough farming land and the burden of high taxation rates which reinforces economic discrimination against women.
As a result, possible working solutions were developed to strengthen women’s resilience in nutrition and food security in Africa; These emphasized the revitalizing of the Peace Agreement which provides opportunities for reforms like the economic empowerment of women and implementation of the transitional justice mechanisms that provide for the compensation of victims taking into account justice for sexual and mass crime violence, truth, individual and collective reparations and security sector reform.

Similarly, on the margins of the 4th GIMAC Strategic Engagement with AU, RECs and partners, Women’s International Peace Centre and the GIMAC Network convened a meeting on the AU theme of the year.

With a focus on accelerating progress in implementing the WPS agenda, specifically targeting the Office of the AU Chairperson’s Special Envoy on WPS and the AU Women, Gender and Youth Directorate, the meeting sought to create a space for women peace builders and civil society organisataions’ representatives to reflect on specific recommendations and strategies to ensure accelerated implementation of the WPS agenda and to engage regional level policy makers on specific approaches and their potential support to national level advocacy targeting government authorities on key WPS issues

Discussions were to inform an outcome document with key recommendations and strategies to inform future collaboration with regional policy makers and across the region on WPS, in addition to guiding follow up on implementation at local level

The meeting also instigated the launch of advocacy campaigns such as the ‘30% Campaign on Extractive Industries’, reports and studies focusing on the various aspects and themes of the Solemn Declaration

 

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