The ministers, responsible for gender and women’s affairs, agreed to re-adopt the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action (BPfA). The BPfA calls for governments to provide adequate space and resources for the implementation of gender equality.
“Governments and development partners need to play their critical role of providing services to women and girls and demanding accountability for the implementation of agreed upon national, regional and global commitments on gender equality and women’s empowerment,” reported the Economic Commission for Africa (ECA).
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The ministers mentioned that the challenges they faced compounded by developing issues – such as climate change, terrorism, conflicts, global economic and financial crises and increasing inequality – hindered progress.
Lakshimi Puri, United Nations Women deputy executive director, said the deadline to achieve gender equality on the continent, in all spheres of life, is 2030.
“We need to seize the big opportunity offered to us to do so. We can’t afford to look back in 20 years and be disappointed that we have not achieved our goals,” she said.
The Assembly of Heads of State and Government of the African Union Commission has declared 2015 the “Year of Women’s Empowerment and Development towards realising Africa’s Agenda 2063”.
Earlier this year the Global Gender Gap Report, published by the World Economic Forum, stated that gender equality in the work place would only be reached in 2095.
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African countries that were highlighted in the report for positive strides towards gender equality across different spheres included Rwanda, the only African country in the top ten, Burundi, South Africa and Nigeria.