Gaborone — The year 2020 is important as it marks a number of milestones in the gender equality sphere, Minister of Nationality, Immigration and Gender Affairs Ms Anna Mokgethi has said.
She was delivering the keynote address at an African Peer Review Mechanism (APRM) validation workshop on a governance, gender and peace building study in Gaborone recently.
Ms Mokgethi said this year was 20 years since adoption of the UN Security Council resolution 1325 on women peace and security as well as five years into implementation of sustainable development goals.
On the African continent, she said, 2020 marked the end of African Women's Decade, a period set aside for celebrating progress achieved. It was also the beginning of a new decade which would lead into the conclusion of 2030 development agenda, said Ms Mokgethi.
"It is imperative that we introspect on the progress we are making towards the attainment of SDGs particularly on girls, achieving gender equality and empowering all women and girls.
I am delighted that Africa as a continent remains committed to the promotion of gender equality and women's empowerment as demonstrated by adoption of strong instruments such as the Maputo Protocol and the AU Agenda 2063," she said.
She further said commitment was also demonstrated by declaring 2010-2020 the African Women's Decade.
The period took cognisance of the challenges that women still faced and remained salient to ensure they were fully addressed, she said, adding that the continent would continue doing research on thorny issues affecting women.
"Gender equality and the rights of women are a constant cross-cutting issue that was always at the forefront of APRM thematic areas all country review reports.
It is therefore common sense for APRM to highlight as critical the nexus between gender equality and good governance.
It is has been proven that social ills, like conflicts, terrorism and human trafficking adversely affect women and children than men," said APRM chief executive officer, Prof Eddy Maloka.
He described women as the nucleus of society's wellbeing 'therefore we cannot talk of good governance at the exclusion of marginalization of their rights'.
The workshop, he said, sought invaluable insights on how APRM could engage on issues of gender equality and good governance in its work for the actualisation of silencing the guns for peaceful, prosperous and sustained development in Africa. Prof Maloka stated that Botswana was the 38th country to join APRM which brought the organisation closer to the realisation of universal accession by 2023.
<i>Source : BOPA</i>