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On March 8th, as the world commemorates International Women’s Day (IWD 2015) under the theme : “ Empower Women, Empower Humanity, Picture it” I take this opportunity to salute all women in IGAD region and to reaffirm our unflinching commitment to complementing the efforts of our Member States in protecting, promoting and fulfilling the human rights of women.  This year also marks the 20th anniversary of the Fourth World Conference on Women and the landmark Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action of 1995.

On this occasion, IGAD Secretariat welcomes the call by UN Women for an end to gender inequality in the next 15 years through the “Planet 50-50 by 2030: Step It Up for Gender Equality” campaign launched on the eve of IWD 2015 in New York. The call implores Governments to commit actions that will close the gender equality gaps in their countries, including addressing and preventing violence against women and girls, and transforming social norms and discriminatory attitudes against women and girls. IGAD Secretariat will sustain the momentum of this call in Member States by promoting and supporting interventions that build resilience to climatic and security shocks, create wealth, deepen democratic governance and spur socio-economic transformation in IGAD region.

This year’s IWD theme is indeed a clarion call for us all to fulfill not only the vision of the Beijing Declaration and Platform for Action but also regional commitments on gender equality and women’s empowerment. These include inter-alia the AU Solemn Declaration on Gender Equality and the Maputo Protocol.

The African Union declared 2015 as ‘The Year of Women’s Empowerment and Development towards Africa’s Agenda 2063’ and the period 2010-2020 as the “African Women’s Decade”. In these instruments, we have pictured the woman we want to see on the African Continent. We have pictured gender equality. We want to see change. Let us all be part of that change that we want to see.

Happy Women’s Day 2015

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