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September 6, 2023 (NAIROBI, Kenya): The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)   Gender Department officially inaugurates its Institutional Capacity Building for Gender Equality and Women’s Empowerment (GEWE) Program in Nairobi, Kenya.

In his opening remarks, the Executive Secretary of IGAD, Dr. Workneh Gebeyehu, emphasised the organisation’s unwavering commitment to reducing gender disparities within the IGAD Secretariat and its member states. He also underscored IGAD’s continuous dedication to advancing gender equality and women’s empowerment in the IGAD Region.

” Despite these achievements, we are aware that there are new heights to scale,” Dr. Gebeyehu said. “The global landscape is constantly changing, which necessitates the evolution of our strategies and frameworks for gender equality and women’s empowerment. To that end, we are intensifying our efforts and leveraging additional support to climb to these new heights.”

Dr. Gebeyehu extended heartfelt thanks to the Government of Sweden for its financial backing of the project.

Also speaking at the event was Mr. Joachim Beijmo, the Head of Regional Development Coordination in Africa at the Embassy of Sweden in Ethiopia and the African Union. He commended IGAD’s leadership for their unwavering commitment to gender affairs at the highest levels. He also expressed optimism about IGAD’s capacity to successfully integrate gender responsiveness into all of its operations.

Ms. Amina Farah, Head of IGAD’s Gender Department, conveyed her appreciation to IGAD’s leadership for their commitment to gender mainstreaming. She also praised Sweden’s generous support, urging colleagues to adopt the mission as their own.

“Let’s remember that the fight for gender equality is not solely the responsibility of the Gender Department,” Ms. Farah stated. “It’s a collective obligation. Let’s all be proactive advocates for this cause, ensuring that the pursuit of gender equality remains a fundamental element of IGAD’s mission.”

The GEWE program will focus on several key domains to catalyse substantial improvements within IGAD:

  1. Enhancing institutional frameworks for more effective policy implementation.
  2. Offering professional development programs to bolster the capabilities of IGAD’s Gender Department and to facilitate the integration of gender considerations across other departments.
  3. Securing increased budget allocation and financial autonomy for gender-specific initiatives.
  4. Establishing partnerships with other organizations to leverage shared expertise in the field.

These enhancements aim to transition from gender sensitivity to gender responsiveness, thereby effectively mainstreaming gender in all aspects of IGAD’s operations.

The GEWE program is supported by the Government of Sweden and implemented by the IGAD Gender Department, based at the IGAD Secretariat.

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