Rwanda: Kagame in DR Congo for Inaugural Conference on Positive Masculinity

25 November 2021

President Paul Kagame on Thursday arrived in Kinshasa where he joined fellow Heads of State to attend the inaugural African Men's Conference on Positive Masculinity, hosted by his DR Congo Felix Tshisekedi.

President Tshisekedi is also the current Chairperson of the African Union.

Other Heads of State present at the meeting include South Africa's Cyril Ramaphosa, Senegal Macky Sall, President of the Republic of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo among others.

The Conference is also hosted in partnership with the African Women Leaders Network (AWLN) under its patron, Ellen-Johnson Sirleaf who is also a former President of the Republic of Liberia.

Held under the theme "African Men Leaders Engage in Positive Masculinity Approaches to End the Scourge of Violence Against Women and Girls in Africa", the conference among others, will seek to mobilize commitment and galvanize action by men in leadership to accelerate the prevention and elimination of violence against women and girls in Africa at all spheres and at all levels.

During the conference, male leaders in their various leadership capacities will be mobilized to play a key role in supporting and driving efforts towards the eradication of VAWG on the continent.

Also on the agenda is the push to secure commitment to creating enabling environments to ensure an increase in the numbers of women in leadership at all levels to take this agenda forward while also creating political ownership of the AU Campaign on ending VAWG at the national level.

Leaders representing governments, businesses, youth, traditional and religious sectors, among others, are expected to adopt a declaration with concrete actions and strategies to enhance men's leadership and role towards ending VAWG.

According to AU, Africa's most prevalent forms of VAWG include, among others, Intimate Partner Violence (IPV), Female Genital Mutilation (FGM), Early Child and Forced Marriage, as well as Sexual Violence in Conflict (SVC).

The persistence of VAWG in Africa, a statement issued by the AU notes, is mainly associated with gender power relations reflected in well and commonly ascribed and accepted social norms, entrenched in patriarchal systems characterized by male dominance, unequal distribution of resources and power combined with social institutions that sustain gender inequality.

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