The Peace Centre was excited to join the meeting on 12th May to share work done to ensure gender responsive COVID response and adopt a regional framework for mainstreaming gender in COVID response in Africa. The meeting brought together 195 participants including the African Union Chairperson, the UN Women Executive Director, United Nations Economic Commission for Africa, Africa Center for Disease Control, and the African Union Special Envoy on Women, Peace and Security leaders of the African Union, Gender Ministers, UN Women Country Offices and Women’s Rights Organizations across the continent to. Gender Is My Agenda Campaign (GIMAC) network shared women’s rights organizations response strategies to COVID-19 and The Peace Centre presented lessons from work with refugee women incorporating COVID-19 prevention into their early warning and peace building activities.
African Gender Ministers thereafter shared their national strategies, received feedback and adopted a gender framework for COVID-19 response. The Framework Document on the Impact of COVID-19 on GEWE: African Union Guidelines on Gender-Responsive Responses to COVID-19 includes a section on the impact of COVID on women, peace and security as well as guidelines for safeguarding gains and mitigating its impact on women in conflict and post-conflict zones. The political declaration emanating from the meeting will be used to address the challenges facing women and girls in Africa due to the COVID-19 pandemic, while informing response and recovery planning and financing.