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Communique – Women’s Consultation on the Africa We Want Post 2015

This communique from the African Women’s Regional Civil Society Consultation on the Post 2015 Development Framework conveys a collective desire for a re-orientation toward issues perceived to have been neglected by the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Despite significant achievements accomplished by the MDGs, there is concern that qualitative aspects of these achievements have received too little focus. Additionally, areas such as climate change and peace and security have been excluded.

The document notes that Africa is advancing well economically, but that women’s rights must be expanded in areas beyond economic growth, such as structural social inequalities. It then goes on to make a number of recommendations for all actors to accelerate the existing MDGs. These cover a wide range of issues, including: prioritising reproductive health provision to marginalised groups such as rural women, sex workers, women with disabilities, etc; increasing freedom of expression and access to transparent information; the eradication of re-canonicalization of extractive industries and land; and ensuring government accountability and responsibility on women’s rights.

The communiqué offers five recommendations for the post 2015 development framework:

– Education – ensure accessible and universal education, with a focus on eliminating barriers that limit the retention of girls through gender-sensitive policies, facilities and curriculum. Post-primary education should be prioritised.
– Women’s health and violence against women – Universal and comprehensive access to quality gender-responsive health care and protection from violence, supported and enforced by legislation and multi-sector support.
– Property rights and law – Review and reform legislation to eliminate gender discrimination. Empower women to claim land rights through raising legal literacy.
– Accelerate women’s economic empowerment – Utilise employment law, social welfare and wealth redistribution, infrastructure development, and labour-saving technology.
– Governance, peace and security – Re-centre human security as a crucial enabler of women’s participation in peace building, reconstruction, and conflict transformation. Increase women’s participation in private and public decision-making.

Additional information:
This communiqué was signed by representatives of regional, sub-regional, national and grassroots women’s organisations and networks who participated in an Africa Women’s Regional Civil Society Consultation (21st and 22nd October 2012) organised by FEMNET, AAWORD, EASSI, WiLDAF- WA, SADC Gender Protocol Alliance, AMwA in partnership with IPPF-ARO, Oxfam and Urgent Action Fund.