Joint Statement on the 20th anniversary of UN Security Council Resolution 1325.

To mark the 20th anniversary of the UN Security Council Resolution 1325, OSAA and the APRM, are advocating for the full implementation of UNSCR 1325 in Africa, with women's full, equal and meaningful participation in sustainable development goals (SDGs) planning and domestication at the local, national and regional levels through the effective monitoring and evaluation of SDG 16 within the Decade of Action to deliver the SDGs (2020-2030).

The heads of the two entities, Ms. Cristina Duarte from OSAA and Prof. Eddy Maloka from the APRM, acknowledged progress made towards women's inclusion to date, but emphasized that more still needs to be done. UNSCR 1325 was adopted in October 2000 and exclusively recognizes women's right to have a leading role in achieving international peace and security.

Among the milestones achieved by African countries in the last 20 years, women's representation in national parliaments has increased, especially with the African Union (AU) 50:50 parity campaign and the AU gender policy in 2010. Rwanda has exceeded this target, with 64% of parliamentary seats occupied by women, followed by the Seychelles, Senegal, South Africa and Namibia[1] (from 40-44%). However, the share of parliamentary seats at the regional average remains low at only 22.4% for women and 77.6% for men, with a slightly lower average for ministerial positions occupied by women.

With the COVID-19 pandemic, governance, gender, peace and development have become more interlinked than ever before. The pandemic has scaled back gains, with women and girls being disproportionately affected by its socio-economic impact. A recent report by the APRM Secretariat on Africa's response to COVID-19, sets women's inclusivity in governance, and the fight against gender-based violence (GBV), as some of the urgent prerequisites to curb the pandemic. Further, providing skills, resources and funds for women, especially in fragile and conflict areas, is likely to help avoid further human catastrophes and accelerate recovery and building back better.

'One of the significant lessons learned from the novel coronavirus is that societies led by women in leadership display a sense of transparency and accountability, essential to mitigate disasters,' Ms. Duarte said, while commending the leadership of the 13 African female health ministers who are leading the continent's efforts to mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic at national level.

Despite the notable achievements...

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