Pan-African Parliament Collaborates with Civil Society Organizations in Nairobi for Gender Equality Framework


Hon. Prof. Massouda Mohamed Laghdaf (Mrs.), First Vice-President of the Pan-African Parliament. Image/PAP Media

The Pan-African Parliament (PAP) is currently engaged in a significant collaborative effort with Civil Society Organizations (CSOs) from across Africa to finalize the Legal Framework pertaining to the draft Model Law on Gender Equality. The joint public hearings, being held in Nairobi, Kenya from April 22nd to 24th, are aimed at incorporating diverse perspectives and grassroots input into this crucial legislation.

Image/PAP Media

The consultations in Nairobi follow similar engagements that took place in Lusaka in July 2023 for the Southern Region, indicating a comprehensive effort to ensure that the Model Law on Gender Equality truly reflects the aspirations and needs of the African people.

In her opening remarks during the inaugural session, Hon. Prof. Massouda Mohamed Laghdaf (Mrs.), First Vice-President of the Pan-African Parliament, underscored the paramount importance of involving African citizens in shaping the Model Law. She emphasized the PAP’s commitment to providing a platform for citizen participation in addressing the continent’s challenges, particularly regarding gender equality.

“The engagement is crucial as it will promote the Model Law and enable grassroots organizations to participate in the Parliament’s and ultimately the AU’s decision-making processes, aimed at enhancing their well-being,” remarked Hon. Prof. Laghdaf.

The partnership between the Pan-African Parliament and the African Union ECOSOCC (Economic, Social, and Cultural Council) is pivotal in this endeavor, with Mr. William Carew, Head of the African Union ECOSOCC Secretariat, highlighting its significance. He portrayed the public hearings as a catalyst for facilitating the formulation of a Model Law on Gender Equality that aligns with the objectives of the AU Agenda 2063.

Mr. William Carew (Head of Secretariat, African Union ECOSOCC. Image/PAP Media

“We are extremely pleased with this PAP-ECOSOCC partnership. If all stakeholders present here today unite forces, we can go a long way together,” said Mr. Carew.

Representatives from the Ministry of Public Service, Youth, and Women Affairs of the Republic of Kenya expressed gratitude to the Pan-African Parliament and ECOSOCC for choosing Nairobi as the venue for these critical consultations.

“On behalf of the government and people of Kenya, we welcome all participants to the city of Nairobi. Kenya’s gender equality commitments are enshrined in our Constitution, legal and policy environment, and outlined in the mandates of our gender machinery,” said Ms. Jackline Nekesa, the Director of Gender from the Ministry.

Jackline Nekesa, Representative of Ministry of Public Service, Youth, and Women Affairs for the Republic of Kenya. Image/PAP Media

The discussions in Nairobi cover various aspects related to gender equality, including challenges for universal ratification, implementation, domestication, and reporting of the Maputo Protocol, as well as the formulation of an African Model Law on Gender Equality and Equity.

Dr. Jeanne Flora Kayitesi, Programme Officer at the Gender Directorate of the African Union Commission, presented on the challenges faced in the universal ratification and implementation of the Maputo Protocol. Meanwhile, Mr. Clement Phebe Mavungu, Legal Officer of the Pan-African Parliament, discussed theoretical aspects and the roadmap for formulating the Model Law.

Mr. Clement Phebe Mavungu, Legal Officer of the Pan-African Parliament. Image/PAP Media

The three-day consultation aims to dismantle barriers hindering the development and recognition of women’s rights, fostering collaboration between stakeholders to build a continent characterized by peace, security, and citizen-driven development.

As the public hearings progress, stakeholders anticipate substantive outcomes that will contribute to the advancement of gender equality across Africa and the fulfillment of the AU’s vision for the continent.


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